Millennium Post

Table-toppers CSK hot favourites against KKR

Kolkata: Table-toppers CSK, who have looked a class apart so far, will start as hot favourites against KKR in an IPL clash at Eden Gardens here on Thursday.
Back in the IPL after a two-year hiatus, the M S Dhoni-led outfit have till now won six games out of eight and just lost two. Dhoni has led from the front, playing some blistering knocks including a 22-ball 51 in the last game against Delhi Daredevils which CSK won by 13 runs. The star former India captain has looked every inch like his old self with 286 runs in eight matches at 71.50. Dhoni rolled back the years with his 44-ball 79 against Kings XI Punjab, showcasing some of his trademark shots and showing glimpses of the flair which made him one of the best finishers of limited-overs cricket. Though CSK lost that game, they never looked like a team struggling to get going in this competition.
Besides Dhoni, IPL-11's top-scorer Ambati Rayudu has been superb with the bat as well, amassing 370 runs at 46.25. In the last four matches, Rayudu has scores of 41, 46, 82 and 79. Veteran Australian opener Shane Watson has looked good too with a century to his name against Rajasthan Royals, a team he won the inaugural IPL with in 2008. Watson's 40-ball 78 in the last encounter underlined the fact that his big-hitting skills are still in the right place despite being on the wrong side of 30 and along with South African skipper Faf Du Plessis, they make a deadly combination at the top.
Du Plessis' compatriot Lungi Ngidi has added teeth to CSK's pace battery after returning to the fold following the demise of his father which had forced the 22-year-old to rush home. Ngidi played for the first time in CSK colours against Delhi and returned figures of 1/26. Besides Ngidi, the likes of Harbhajan
Singh, and all-rounder Dwayne Bravo have also done well in
games, giving the team an overall stability.
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