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HomeChennai Super KingsIPL 5th Match Preview: Chennai Super Kings v Kolkata Knight Riders

IPL 5th Match Preview: Chennai Super Kings v Kolkata Knight Riders



Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey


Ah, what a beautiful night it will be in Chennai. The packed MA Chidambaram Stadium will be the source of envy among many cricket fans around the world (myself included) who wish they could be part of the action, soaking in every moment at what is expected to be an interesting clash between two teams who won their respective matches first up.

Down and out against Mumbai, Chennai Super Kings showed that they can never be written off in any game. However, they would like to ensure, in front of their home fans, that they aren’t in a similar position to what they were in the opening match. Despite a fantastic effort to get across the line, CSK aren’t without faults, particularly their fielding and batting, which saw them stumbling throughout the game. Dwayne Bravo’s death bowling and magnificent batting innings saw CSK over the line in the tournament opener, but he can’t be expected to do it all the time – more support is required from his batting partners, as well as his bowlers, on a pitch expected to assist the spinners.

CSK are back at home!

For Kolkata Knight Riders, they caused more pain to a Royal Challengers Bangalore side desperate to have a better season in IPL 2018. KKR would have been pleased with how they restricted RCB to 176/7 after dismissing danger men AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli in consecutive deliveries when they were looking to go big. However, their batting is likely to endure a greater test in their second match against a CSK side containing many familiar players who have had success at home.

After Narine’s initial onslaught, KKR buckled down well to reach their target

Key to a Chennai Super Kings win

A good batting display.
Heading into this game, I believe CSK fans (and fans in general) would believe that their batting is most under the spotlight, after slipping to 118/8 against Mumbai. One area I believe they could change is not having both Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu open the batting, with both striking at 114.28 and 115.78 respectively at the Wankhede. When they were both dismissed against Mumbai, either side of Suresh Raina, CSK were tottering at 42/3 off 6.3 overs. In this time, 18 dot balls were bowled, so if there is indeed a change in the opening pair (most likely Murali Vijay), more rotation of the strike is important.
Also, more will be expected from Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja, all dismissed for low scores in their opening game. Losing Kedar Yadav is a blow, but I have faith that their bowlers can trouble KKR, especially on a pitch expected to turn, aiding their spin-heavy strategy. Add the excellent Dwayne Bravo to an already experienced bowling attack, and CSK have what it takes to win the game if their batting holds up well.

Key to a Kolkata Knight Riders win

Dismantle CSK’s batting line up.
CSK have built their bowling strategy on spin, but KKR have a good spin line up as well. Against RCB, three of the bowlers who bowled their full quota went for under eight an over, and the fact that Kuldeep Yadav, a star in Indian cricket recently, wasn’t one of them could be considered good news. This shows the KKR attack can be counted on to work as a unit, even when they wish to use Nitish Rana slip in one or two quiet overs, as their success against RCB showed.
Specifically, Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav will be key, as CSK batsmen have struggled against googlies in all T20s since 2015. Since then, CSK batsmen have faced a total of 263 googlies, with just 236 runs scored (SR 89.7). Out of these 263 deliveries, 128 have been dot balls, with 28 dismissals. 
A fine battle awaits, that’s for sure.

Possible teams:

Expect CSK to change things a little at the top, with Murali Vijay coming in to open. Expect them also to stick with the same bowling attack that they went in with at the Wankhede against Mumbai.
Chennai Super Kings XI: 1. Murali Vijay, 2. Shane Watson, 3. Suresh Raina, 4. Ambati Rayudu, 5. MS Dhoni (c & wk), 6. Ravindra Jadeja, 7. Dwayne Bravo, 8. Deepak Chahar, 9. Harbhajan Singh, 10. Mark Wood, 11. Imran Tahir
There is a strong possibility KKR will stick with the winning formula from the first match against RCB. The strongest question mark is probably around Vinay Kumar, who went for 15 an over v RCB, despite taking two wickets.
Kolkata Knight Riders XI: 1. Chris Lynn, 2. Sunil Narine, 3. Robin Uthappa, 4. Nitish Rana, 5. Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), 6. Rinku Singh, 7. Andre Russell, 8. Piyush Chawla, 9. Mitchell Johnson, 10. Kuldeep Yadav, 11. Vinay Kumar

Stats and Facts:

  • Sunil Narine loves spin, and RCB were unbelievably blind to it. Since IPL 2015, Narine has a strike rate of 247.2 against spinners, and has been dismissed only twice. Expect Chennai to go with seam in the powerplay to Narine, looking for an early wicket. Then they can look to use their spinners.
  • Head-to-Head: Matches: 16, CSK: 10, KKR; 6. At Chennai, CSK have enjoyed success against KKR, winning five of the seven matches.
  • CSK have a 70% win rate at home, including 11 wins out of their last 12 at the venue. Superb.
  • Could Andre Russell be KKR’s answer to thwarting Dwayne Bravo? In T20s, he has scored 175 runs off 88 balls against him, with a boundary every 3.52 balls.
  • Imran Tahir has the best IPL bowling strike rate in the CSK team (15.2).
  • Suresh Rainia is the only batsman to have scored at least 350 runs in each of the last ten IPL seasons. Expect him to bounce back well in this game.


Can’t wait for this clash. The atmosphere will be electric, and CSK will be looking to make it a memorable return to their cherished home ground. I think the occasion will spur them on, and backed by an amazing home record, CSK will pick up the 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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