Match 21 of the Indian T20 league has Kolkata taking on 3-time champions Chennai at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Coming into this match, Kolkata sits fourth and Chennai sixth in the points table. So they have a mid-table clash to move into the top 4.
After winning two consecutive matches on the back of some excellent bowling, Kolkata bowlers got smashed to all parts of the ground by Delhi. On a smaller venue, no one could make an impact except A Russell, a good sign for him and the team.
S Narine is not in great form and might move down the order to accommodate R Tripathi. The batting order got messed up in the run chase against Delhi, and D Karthik would like to keep things simple in the following matches. K Yadav can come back in place of S Mavi, given the size of the venue.
Chennai, on the other hand, will be delighted to be back to winning ways after three consecutive losses. There were a lot of questions on team combinations, and the form of a few players. But as Chennai has done over the years, they back their players in good and bad situations.
S Watson came back to form and, with F du Plessis, chased down Punjab’s score with ease. S Thakur picked up key wickets in the middle overs and restricted the opposition’s total. Although every question is not answered, Chennai fans will hope all is good now.
Chennai has dominated the head-to-head battles with 14 wins in 23 matches. However, the last four matches have been pretty even with each side winning two games.
With either side eyeing a win to set their momentum, a thrilling clash in Abu Dhabi is on the cards.
- Match: Kolkata vs. Chennai, Match 21
- Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
- Date & Time: Oct. 7, 2020, at 7.30 PM IST
Probable Playing XI
S Gill, R Tripathi, N Rana, E Morgan, D Karthik(C & WK), A Russell, P Cummins, S Narine, K Nagarkoti, V Chakravarthy, K Yadav
S Watson, A Rayudu, F du Plessis, K Jadhav, M Dhoni (C & WK), R Jadeja, S Curran, D Bravo, P Chawla, D Chahar, S Thakur
The pitches at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium are a little two-paced, unlike the pitches in Sharjah and Dubai, which makes the bowlers’ role more crucial. The batsmen will have to be wary of the spinners who have been influential in the middle overs.
Teams have preferred to chase at this venue in the tournament. Dew could play a role in the second innings, due to which both the captains would like to chase after winning the toss. 170 should be a par-score on this surface.
- S Gill has scored 152 runs in 4 matches with one-half century. His form at the top will be important for Kolkata.
- N Rana scored a fifty in the last match after a string of 20s. He looks good to score big in this match.
- Russell’s good bowling performance can give confidence to his batting and he can clear the long boundaries at Abu Dhabi.
- S Watson and F du Plessis’ opening partnership showed what Chennai was missing so far in the tournament. Both will be key to put up a good score or chase the target.
- D Bravo is yet to pick up a wicket after having played two matches. His variations could be very useful in a big venue like this.
Howzat Dream Team
- Wicketkeeper: M Dhoni
- Batsmen: S Watson, A Rayudu, N Rana, S Gill
- All-rounders: A Russell, D Bravo
- Bowlers: P Cummins, K Nagarkoti, P Chawla, S Thakur
- Captain: S Gill/ S Watson
- Vice Captain: A Russell/ D Bravo
NOTE: The Howzat dream team above is just a suggestion. You can select your own fantasy cricket team by using your knowledge of fantasy cricket. Also, don’t forget to make any necessary changes to your team once the actual playing 11 is announced by each team (30 minutes before the start of the match) as some players you have selected might not be part of the playing 11.