IPL-8: KKR face a tough test as they face in-form CSK in Chennai
Chennai: Defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will face perhaps their toughest challenge yet when they meet an in-form Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Tuesday.
KKR players celebrate a Delhi Daredevils' wicket at Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi recently. Pic/PTI
The Super Kings have been in blazing form of late, winning five of their six games in the tourney. Their only loss came against table-toppers Rajasthan Royals at Ahmedabad where they were convincingly beaten by eight wickets.
However, CSK stamped their authority after they outclassed Kings XI Punjab in the last match here on Saturday. A dominant batting display saw the home side post a formidable 192-3 while Kings XI only managed to reach 95-9 in their 20 overs.
CSK's explosive openers
Their explosive opening pair of New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith have been doing the damage and the Knights have to find a way to strike early otherwise the game can get away from them in the blink of an eye.
Suresh Raina, captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and South Africa batsman Faf du Plesis have been quite impressive in the middle-order. Their bowling attack too has looked sturdy, especially Ashish Nehra, the veteran left-arm seamer leading from the front.
Countering the CSK force, the Knights will have their own weapons ready. Even though their last game was washed out against Rajasthan Royals without a ball being bowled, they would have high hopes of pulling a rabbit out of the hat this time.
The 'men in purple' will rely on their batting 'firepower' to deliver the goods, especially with such wonderful domestic talent at their disposal. Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Gautam Gambhir, Yusuf Pathan would all be set to launch themselves at the batting paradise here.
Their prime concern, however, will be the bowling, with their spin wizard Sunil Narine being reported for suspect action. It will be interesting to see if the team management will name him in the outfit against a classy batting opponent.
But if Narine is dropped, then his replacement will have big boots to fill. The likes of mystery spinner KC Cariappa might get a look in while Morne Morkel and Umesh Yadav lead the pace attack.