IPL 2019: Confident CSK eyes encore against KKR

Andre Russell is a doubtful starter for the Indian Premier League contest against Chennai Super Kings after aggravating his wrist injury that he had sustained in Chennai.

CSK will hope to put the Dhoni incident behind when it takes on KKR at home on Sunday.   -  R. RAGU

After the volatile ending in Jaipur, Chennai Super Kings might have found the lovely ambience at the Eden Gardens soothing as the side trained here on Saturday.

The side would also realise that its iconic captain is extremely lucky to be available for the big game against Kolkata Knight Riders after clearly crossing the line against Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur.

CSK had reasons to be miffed at the umpire first signalling a no-ball for height and then reverting it but a fine of 50 per cent match fee for Dhoni is treating the issue with kid gloves and setting a bad precedent.

READ| Hussey: Have put Dhoni incident behind us

A skipper walking into the ground in the middle of a match and taking up an issue with the umpires is a serious matter. And sends a wrong message to youngsters.

The game is bigger than any cricketer. While some of the umpiring in the ongoing IPL has been abysmal, to put it mildly - if this continues, not just IPL but Indian cricket will be affected - BCCI has come out of the entire episode looking limp and weak. When he has time to reflect, Dhoni will rue the momentary lapse of reason.

READ| Dhoni hit with IPL fine after on-field umpire remonstration

Injury woes

Dhoni continues at the helm and CSK has the wind and the momentum behind it. It is up against a wounded KKR that has lost its last two games.

Dinesh Karthik’s side has injury worries. The explosive Andre Russell has a sore wrist and his fitness will be assessed.

And the two big hitters at the top of the order Chris Lynn (indisposed) and Sunil Narine (hamstring) are doubtful starters. Skipper Karthik is battling a fever. 

READ| Shubman Gill: ‘I don’t like to hit the ball hard, I like to time it’

But then, KKR is playing at home and possesses match-winners. While much focus has been on Russell’s prowess as a power hitter, someone like Robin Uthappa can be influential.

Then wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla can alter the course of matches.

CSK expects runs from its powerful but off-colour opener Shane Watson. During practice, he spent much time admiring the tattoo on Murali Vijay’s arm that actually reflects the cricketer’s love for his mother.

The pitch should be good for batting but might offer some assistance to the pacemen in the afternoon. As the game progresses spinners could come into the picture. The dew might not be a big factor and defending a total could be a good option.

Teams (from):

Kolkata Knight Riders: Dinesh Karthik (c/wk), Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Nikhil Naik, Joe Denly, Shrikant Mundhe, Nitish Rana, Sandeep Warrier, Prasidh Krishna, Lockie Ferguson, Harry Gurney, Matt Kelly, KC Cariappa and Yarra Prithviraj.

Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (c/wk), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Murali Vijay, Kedar Jadhav, Sam Billings, Ravindra Jadeja, Dhruv Shorey, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Rituraj Gaikwad, Dwayne Bravo, Karn Sharma, Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Santner, Shardul Thakur, Mohit Sharma, KM Asif, Deepak Chahar, N Jagadeesan, Scott Kuggeleijn.

Match starts at 4pm (IST).