It will be a battle of Kings at the MA Chidambaram stadium on Saturday. The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will face-off in the match 18 of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Both the teams will fight it out for the top spot as well. They are tied with 6 points at the moment with the visitors at the second position by the virtue of a better run-rate. However, when the CSK have built a fortress in Chennai and their fans make it tough for the opposition with their support to the team.
The Mumbai Indians (MI) exposed a few chinks in CSK’s armoury. Their death bowling is an issue while the middle-order is also looking a bit troublesome with the openers Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu not in the best of nicks. Moreover, Dwayne Bravo’s injury has added to their worries and it looks unlikely as of now that he will play in this encounter.
Kings XI Punjab, on the other hand, are coming off a brilliant come from behind victory over the Delhi Capitals and definitely, their confidence will be high. Sam Curran took a sensational hat-trick in that game. But their batting struggled a great deal in the absence of Chris Gayle. It remains to be seen if he will be able to make it to this game by recovering from his injury. KL Rahul too needs to start hitting the ball well now.
Pitch and Conditions
The pitch at the Chepauk has been on the slower side this season. Though the second match at the venue was played at a better strip. Teams will definitely prefer batting second with the dew set to play a huge part in the second innings. There is no rain prediction but the humidity will increase gradually as the day progresses.
Chennai Super Kings
Shane Watson might have to make way for Faf du Plessis who has surprisingly been benched so far this season. Watson also needs some break and it will help him going forward. Harbhajan Singh should also come back into the playing XI on this pitch as it will turn. Scott Kuggeleijn is likely to make his IPL debut with Dwayne Bravo getting injured in the previous match.
Probable XI: Ambati Rayudu, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (c)(wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir, Scott Kuggeleijn.
Kings XI Punjab
There is no update on Chris Gayle’s fitness so far which means KL Rahul and Sam Curran should continue opening the innings. Ravi Ashwin is known to make frequent changes to the playing XI and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, in that case, might be left out for Varun Chakravarthy who endured a tough debut and couldn’t play the previous game due to illness. The rest of the side should be the same unless injury forces more changes.
Probable XI: KL Rahul (wk), Sam Curran, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Hardus Viljoen, Ravichandran Ashwin, Varun Chakravarthy, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami.
Probable Top Performers
Suresh Raina – Chennai Super Kings | KL Rahul – Kings XI Punjab
TV – Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 Select HD
Live Streaming – Hotstar
Match Timings – 16:00 IST
The prediction is for the CSK to get back to the winning ways