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HomeChennai Super KingsIPL 56th Match Preview: Chennai Super Kings v Kings XI Punjab

IPL 56th Match Preview: Chennai Super Kings v Kings XI Punjab



Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

CSK vs KXIP Preview IPL 2018 Cricket Blog

By the time this game gets underway, it may be a meaningless one. CSK have a chance to still finish first, and KXIP to finish fourth, but both seem unlikely. Nonetheless, both teams will be looking for a good performance.

No matter what happens tonight, Chennai Super Kings‘ return to the IPL has to be considered a success. After two years in the wilderness, and having a number of players well into their 30s, it was to be seen just how well they’d travel. Led by their batting, they have a top two position just about sewn up, and now will be looking for some momentum heading into the playoffs after a last start loss in Delhi.

What can be said of Kings XI Punjab? They have collapsed badly at the business end of the league stage, highlighted by their RCB-like reliance on one player. KL Rahul has been incredible in this tournament, but he just hasn’t had the support needed to see KXIP make a proper challenge for a top four spot. At the midway point of the tournament, they were sitting pretty towards the top, but now they will need one of the great IPL miracles to make the playoffs. Can they put in a good performance, at least?

Key to a Chennai Super Kings win

Is it as simple as “dismiss KL Rahul early, win the match?” It could very well be the case, looking at how influential KL Rahul has been for KXIP. CSK’s bowling has left a little to be desired at times throughout IPL 2018, so here’s a great opportunity to gain some confidence ahead of the playoffs.
Also, can the batting put on an improved show compared to their last game at Delhi? Even when facing the leading wicket taker in AJ Tye, back CSK’s batting to bounce back well ahead of the playoffs. The onus will be on the likes of Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni to help CSK to a healthy total.
MS Dhoni CSK IPL 2018 Cricket Blog
It has been a successful return to the IPL for CSK.

Key to a Kings XI Punjab win

If MI lose the first game today, KXIP will still have to win by a big margin to make a miracle appearance in the playoffs. For this to happen, so much depends on KL Rahul and Chris Gayle to get big scores. If they fail, forget about winning the match full stop, let alone making the playoffs.
Also, can the likes of AJ Tye and Ravi Ashwin thwart the strong CSK batting line up? KXIP need to be perfect tonight, and a key aspect to this will be overcoming the CSK batting juggernaut. Easier said than done, though.
KL Rahul IPL 2018 Cricket Blog
KL Rahul has been KXIP’s batting shining light.

Possible teams

CSK will probably stick with the side that traveled to Delhi, and look to pick up some momentum before Qualifier 1.
Chennai Super Kings possible XI: 1. Shane Watson, 2. Ambati Rayudu, 3. Suresh Raina, 4. MS Dhoni (c & wk), 5. Sam Billings, 6. Ravindra Jadeja, 7. Dwayne Bravo, 8. Deepak Chahar, 9. Harbhajan Singh, 10. Shardul Thakur, 11. Lungi Ngidi
KXIP’s middle order has been cause for concern all tournament, so it remains to be seen which combinations they go for.
Kings XI Punjab possible XI: 1. KL Rahul (wk), 2. Chris Gayle, 3. Aaron Finch, 4.Karun Nair/Yuvraj Singh, 5. Manoj Tiwary, 6. Marcus Stoinis/Mujeeb ur Rahman, 7. Axar Patel, 8. Ravichandran Ashwin (c), 9. AJ Tye, 10. Mohit Sharma, 11. Ankit Rajpoot

Stats and Facts

  • Head-to-Head: Matches 18, CSK 10, KXIP 8
  • KL Rahul’s season total of 652 runs is the most ever by any KXIP batsman in a single season (previous best: Shaun Marsh 616 in 2008).
  • CSK have won four of the five matches they have played in Pune in IPL 2018.
  • Chris Gayle needs six runs to reach 4,000 IPL runs. MS Dhoni needs ten to reach the same milestone.
  • KXIP need MI to lose to stand a chance of getting in the playoffs over RR. They will need to win by 53+ runs or with 38+ balls to spare. Big ask.


KXIP have been woeful in recent games, whereas CSK have been good in Pune.
I guess much of KXIP’s motivation will depend on the result in MI’s game, but even if MI lose, it’s hard to see KXIP beating CSK. 
CSK to win.

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Coorey
Charbel is the owner & founder of, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at

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