KKR will need to change their spin bowling strategy to rhythm as they move from Chepauk to Wankhede.
Calcutta knight horsemen arrive in Mumbai after losing to the Royal Challengers Bangalore. After getting off to a good start in their Chennai stage, their batting performance plummeted and the result began to elude them. Their supposed bowling strength was not at its best in the previous game and they need players to settle in when they enter a new location for a few games.
Eoin Morgan’s side will now face the Chennai Super Kings, who have had a good run at Wankhede Stadium so far. The two teams will meet in Mumbai on Wednesday evening.
Here is the predicted XI of the Kolkata Knight Riders for their match against the Chennai Super Kings:
Openers (Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana)
The Kolkata Knight Riders have had decent starts for their workers so far in the tournament. However, Shubman Gill would be disappointed not to have converted his starts into a big score three times. He has made 15, 33 and 21 in three games so far and would be desperate to get a big score under his belt.
Nitish Rana, on the other hand, was unable to continue his good run with the bat in IPL 2021. But returning to Wankhede would be good news for him, as the southpaw likes to beat in conditions that suit him. KKR will most likely continue with their combination. However, there is news circulating that Sunil Narine may return. This keeps it as a back-opening option if they want to try a pinch at the top.
Middle Order (Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik)
The problem with KKR’s stick against Bangalore was the lack of bottom innings. Everyone got off to a start but failed to convert it to a heat like AB de Villiers or Glenn Maxwell’s earlier today. Tripathi has shown his ability to cross boundaries and be busy on the fold. He will appreciate the stick on Wankhede’s surface.
Speaking of good batting conditions, it will be a relief for Eoin Morgan and Dinesh Karthik that KKR changes base for the next two games at Wankhede. Both have struggled with their forms lately and are missing points on the back. Both batsmen will be looking to get a good shot under their belt in these next two games to feel good in their bat with a long season ahead of them.
The versatile (Sunil Narine and Andre Russell)
When Shakib Al Hasan was reinstated in the KKR squad, replacing Sunil Narine, that seemed like a good inclusion, given his batting potential. However, it took three matches for KKR to figure out that Bangladesh’s best batting performances were when he stepped up order, which doesn’t appear to be something KKR is interested in doing at the moment.
Shakib is an anchor and Brendon McCullum’s management surely don’t want another player like that in the front row. That brings us to Sunil Narine, whose experience with the ball could be crucial at Wankhede. Sending him open to a batting-friendly surface as a pinch hitter could be a welcome change for KKR. It should be noted, however, that Narine has issues against the swinging ball, which the CSK bowling unit is able to do from the start.
Bowlers (Prasidh Krishna, Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy)
Since KKR moved its base from Chennai to Mumbai, the responsibility for the bowling will now rest with the faster bowlers. Pat Cummins should be seen opening the bowling alley with Prasidh Krishna. Harbhajan Singh is likely to miss this game, given that his main use in the first three matches was to knock out the opposition’s left opening batsman, which he hasn’t done once. On Wankhede, Shivam Mavi should be a better choice than the veteran spinner.
Mavi is also a pretty good death bowler, which will take the pressure off of Andre Russell who was hit in his two overs with the death of the previous game. It will also add to Russell’s responsibility to deal with the middle order. Varun Chakravarthy will partner Sunil Narine in the spin department for KKR in this match.
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