Once again, after victories behind the back, the Chennai Super Kings harvest will seek to extend its winning run when faced with struggling Kolkata Knights IPL match here on wednesday.
After their final campaign in the UAE last year, CSK started the season in a sinister way, losing to Delhi Capitals by seven weekends in a unilateral affair.
But since then MS Dhonithe left came alone, with “Captain Cool” making the most of his resources at the friendly Wankhede Stadium.
Deepak Chahar’s brilliance gave them their first win of the season against the Punjab Kings. This is the story of two Englishmen – Mouen Ali and Sam Quran for CSK.
The explosive wagon Ali embraced third place with shots of 36 out of 24 (against Delhi Capitals), 46 out of 31 (Punjab Kings) and 26 out of 20 in its match-winning show against Rajasthan Royals on Monday.
He also quietly does his off-spin work with Donnie, who skillfully puts him in the combination in the awkward conditions here.
Realizing that the dry ball would turn more than a dew-soaked wet ball, Dhoni stepped up his attack with Jadeja and Ali from both ends.
While Judea rejected the dangerous-looking Butler and Shivam Dubois in one, Ali counted David Miller, Ryan Parag and Chris Morris in a 3/7 reversal.
The only bright spot in their abyss campaign in the UAE, young Sam Quran also had some impact with both the bat and the ball.
Whether it’s his 15-ball 34 against a lost cause from Delhi Capitals or bowling in Powerplay, Curan gives Donnie a lot of opportunities.
Against a side that will play its first match of the season at Wankhede, intelligently from two consecutive defeats, the Dhoni-led CSK will start as the overwhelming favorites against KKR as Eoin Morgan is ready to ring some changes to revive his campaign.
After a solid start against Sunrisers Hyderabad, KKR slipped to fifth place with defeats by the Mumbai Indians and the Royal Challengers Bangalore. In both defeats, Morgan’s side had the upper hand, but could not take advantage of their starts.
Varun Chakravarti was fired They grow kohli and Rajat Patidar in five balls to have RCB in place with 9/2 inside two overs. But in a strange decision, Morgan pulled the mysterious spinner out of the attack and led Shakib al-Hassan as Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers drives them to 204/4.
It remains to be seen whether Morgan continues with Shakib or introduces the Australian station wagon Ben Cutting in less favorable conditions.
Morgan also persevered with veteran Harbhajan Singh and gave him starting shots in all three games. Left wrist spinner Kuldeep yadav may be a better option.
Head coach Brendan McCallum has already hinted at making some changes after their 38 RCB losses.
As for CSK, opener Ruturaj Gaikwad held a terrible form with grades 5, 5 and 10 and it remains to be seen if he was given a longer rope than Dhoni, who is not known to do much XI.
KKR: Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Kartik,, Shubman Gil, Nitish Rana, Tim Seifert, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Shivam Mavi, Lockie Ferguson, Pat Cummins, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Sandeep Warrier, Prasidh Krishna, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, Shakib Al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Weibhav Arora, Harbhajan Singh, Karun Nair, Ben Cutting, Venkatesh Ayer and Pavan Negi.
CSK: MS Dhoni (c & wk), It’s raining,, Ambati Rayuda, KM Asif, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo,, Faf du Plessis,, Imran Tahir, N Jagadeesan, Karn Sharma, Lungi Ngidi,, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeya, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shardul Thakur, Sam Kuran, Josh Hazluud, R Sai Kishore, Robin Utapa, Mouen Ali, Krishnapa Gotham, Cheteshwar Pujara, M Harisankar Reddy, K Bhagath Varma and C Hari Nishaanth.
The match starts: 19.30 IST.