Chennai Super Kings became the first team to be knocked out of the race for playoffs. Since then it has notched two consecutive wins and on Sunday, would hope to finish the season on a high when it takes on Kings XI Punjab at Abu Dhabi.
Kings XI was on a high winning five games on the bounce before it lost to Rajasthan Royals on Friday in its penultimate match. With just six wins, it is now or never for KL Rahul’s men. The team needs to win and hope other results go in its favour.
In CSK, it meets a team that is approaching the games without pressure and have already played party-spoilers for Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders. Incidentally, it was the first time CSK won two games consecutively this season.
With this being a day game, expect the spinners to play a crucial role, something both sides would prefer.
The key men
For Punjab, the form of Chris Gayle has come as a boost and should help Rahul play with more freedom without having to contain himself, as he has done in the last few matches.
The form of Ruturaj Gaikwad in the last few games has been a silver lining for CSK this year and, he would hope to finish off the season on a strong note.
Head to head: CSK: 14; KXIP: 9.
Chennai Super Kings: Murali Vijay, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (Captain & Wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Kedar Jadhav, Deepak Chahar, Piyush Chawla, Lungi Ngidi, Karn Sharma, Josh Hazlewood, Imran Tahir, Shardul Thakur, Monu Kumar, Mitchell Santner, R. Sai Kishore, N Jagadeesan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, KM Asif
Kings XI Punjab: K. L. Rahul (Capt.), Glenn Maxwell, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Sheldon Cottrell, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Arshdeep Singh, Hardus Viljoen, M. Ashwin, J. Suchith, Harpreet Brar, Darshan Nalkande, James Neesham, Chris Jordan, Krishnappa Gowtham, Deepak Hooda, Tajinder Singh Dhillon, Nicholas Pooran, Prabhsimran Singh.
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Time: 3.30 pm (IST)
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