After their 22 run victory against Kings XI Punjab in their previous match, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will be intending to carry their form when they take on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match in M.A. Chidambaram Stadium at Chennai on Tuesday. CSK's focus will be on how to keep the power-hitting Jamaican Andre Russell silent.
In a clash between two teams with a battery of quality spinners, a batsman of Russell's caliber may just prove to be the difference between the two sides.
Both the teams have four wins each and have been in pretty impressive form. Both will be eyeing victory to go at the top of the points table.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK generally look calm and composed at all situations and some or the other player puts up his hand and takes the responsibility of delivering it on that particular day.
The Knight Riders are also coming off an all-round clinical win over Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Sunday night.
With two teams having an array of top-notch spinners, the onus would be on the batsmen to counter them, given the nature of the pitch at MA Chidambaram stadium.
While Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir and Ravindra Jadeja stifled the KXIP batsmen to set up the win, Kuldeep Yadav, Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla didn't allow the attacking Jos Buttler to get going on a slowish Jaipur track, thus restricting the Royals to a below-par total of 139/3 in 20 overs.
All eyes will be on the batting line-ups and how they go about neutralising the spin threat. How the Super Kings handle the in-form Russell threat will be watched with keen interest.
The flamboyant Jamaican has been in awe-inspiring form with the bat and how he goes about his business at CSK's den against Harbhajan & Co. will be worth watching. In this season of IPL, Russell has scored 207 runs off 77 balls consisting of 12 fours and 22 sixes with a strike rate of 268.83.
CSK, on their part, brought in Faf du Plessis in place of the injured Dwayne Bravo and he made an immediate impact with a quality knock (54 off 38 balls). His contribution at the top will be crucial again.
Dhoni has been providing the thrust in the end overs in some style.
The home crowd will be hoping that their 'Captain Cool' will once again be leading from the front.
When and how to watch:
Date: April 9 (Tuesday), 2019
Time: 8 PM IST
Venue: M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
Tv guide: Star Sports Network
Live streaming: Hotstar
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (C & WK), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh, Deepak Chahar, Scott Kuggeleign.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Dinesh Karthik (C & WK), Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Harry Gurney.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (C & WK), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Murali Vijay, Kedar Jadhav, Sam Billings, Ravindra Jadeja, Dhruv Shorey, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Rituraj Gaikwad, Dwayne Bravo, Karn Sharma, Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Santner, Shardul Thakur, Mohit Sharma, K M Asif, Deepak Chahar, N Jagadeesan (wk), Scott Kuggeleign.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Dinesh Karthik (C & WK), Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Nitish Rana, Nikhil Naik, Joe Denly, Shrikant Mundhe, Sandeep Warrier, Prasidh Krishna, Lockie Ferguson, Harry Gurney, K C Cariappa, Yarra Prithviraj.
(With PTI inputs)