Inconsistent Knight Riders face stiff CSK challenge
Enduring an erratic campaign so far, defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders face a stiff challenge when they take on the smooth-sailing Chennai Super Kings in IPL-8 on Tuesday.
KKR are currently placed third on the points table with three wins, two losses and one abandoned match. CSK, on the other hand, have lost only one game in six outings and are steady on the second position. The MS Dhoni-led side, dominating on home turf, is coming off a massive win over Kings XI Punjab in which they thrashed the team by 97 runs.
If the big names in Chennai’s batting order, like Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina and Dhoni, has come good in trying times then the bowling has also risen to the challenge. Led by Ashish Nehra and Ishwar Pandey, CSK’s bowling arsenal has looked well equipped and delivered whenever required. Even left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja, whose non-performance was under the scanner came good in the previous game to pick 3 Kings XI wickets and break the opposition back. KKR, meanwhile, cooled their heels inside the dugout after rain forced abandonment of their clash against table-toppers Rajasthan Royals. And before the abandoned game, KKR had lost to SunRisers Hyderabad, a game in which the team’s batting frailties were thoroughly exposed by a struggling side fighting to stay afloat. In fact, all their wins have come against teams which have turned out to be laggards of this season. If the batting, led by Gautam Gambhir, has been inconsistent, then bowling attack has been a bit patchy and a cause of concern.
Just when it looked that star off-spinner Sunil Narine was getting adjusted to his re-modelled action, the West Indian was called for chucking again by the on-field umpires during the team’s away match against SRH on April 22.
Even in the head-to-head count CSK lead the race in 14 games with 10 wins and 4 losses against the Kolkata-based outfit. CSK also enjoy the home advantage after winning 4 games out of the 6 that have happened between the two teams at Chepauk.