IPL 2019: Kolkata Knight Riders face tough test against table-toppers Chennai Super Kings

Updated: Apr 14, 2019, 15:09 IST | Arup Chatterjee | Kolkata

The CSK skipper MS Dhoni presents a dangerous prospect because of his ability to control the innings

Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik

The wicket at the Eden Gardens played its part during Kolkata Knight Riders' (KKR) best years in the IPL, which saw them lift the title twice under Gautam Gambhir. On the slow turning tracks, opponents were left confused even as KKR's spin-based attack and batsmen knew what to do on them. KKR still have class and variety in spin but the friendly wickets have gone.

Containing rampaging batsmen is suddenly a different ball game as the likes of Kuldeep Yadav, Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla will tell you. The conditions do lend themselves nicely to their array of stroke-makers, but KKR sit uneasy as the batting unit has gone off the boil, and but for Andre Russell's incredible hitting, they would have failed to put up competitive totals on most days.

Today's showdown against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) comes on the heels of Friday's disappointing defeat to Delhi Capitals. Russell and Narine are among those carrying injuries, and a flu is running through the camp. It had kept power-hitter Chris Lynn out of the playing XI on Friday night. "We'll take a call tomorrow," assistant coach Simon Katich said on Saturday when asked if all players were available.

It's not the best of times for KKR to take on the league leaders. CSK have an ominous batting line-up, and it's bad news for opponents that MS Dhoni has run into form. The CSK skipper presents a dangerous prospect because of his ability to control the innings.

It's CSK's spin-heavy attack, so much in cinch with the sluggish tracks of the Chidambaram Stadium, that will be put to the test on an Eden track. In Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja and Imran Tahir, CSK have quality in the spin cupboard but those that make the playing XI will have to be smart on a wicket that denies slow bowlers the 'bite' they seek.

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