MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik © AFP
MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik © AFP

Dinesh Karthik returns home to Chennai as the opponent captain. He will relish the opportunity to make the outing memorable. He may not be the crowd favourite like Thala, his opposite member MS Dhoni, but Karthik will have enough well wishers amid the sea of yellow. A full house awaits M. A. Chidambaram International Cricket Stadium in Chepauk as Chennai take on Kolkata in the Match 5 of Indian T20 League 2018.

Both the sides began with a win. While Chennai pulled off an improbable result against Mumbai courtesy Dwayne Bravo’s heroics, Kolkata had a rather easy outing at home against Bangalore. Kedar Jadhav completed the sensational chase for Chennai but his hamstring injury will hurt them. This may see Murali Vijay back into the fold as the opener while Ambati Rayudu will move to his preferred middle-order slot.

Chennai’s batting disappointed in the first game and the likes of MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina will want to make the most of their homecoming after three years. Kolkata’s spin trio of Kuldeep Yadav, Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla are bound to make life tougher for Chennai.

However, it’s the bowling where Chennai’s strength lie. In Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir and Ravindra Jadeja, they have spinners who can make a difference. They might like to bring in Mark Wood in place of Lungi Ngidi.

Kolkata would not want to tinker with their 11. The only possible change could be Kamlesh Nagarkoti getting a game ahead of Vinay Kumar, who leaked far too many in the first game.

Likely 11s

Chennai: Murali Vijay/Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, AmbatiRayudu, MS Dhoni (c &wk), Dwayne Bravo, RavindraJadeja, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh, Mark Wood/Lungi Ngidi/Shardul Thakur, Imran Tahir

Kolkata: Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, NitishRana, Dinesh Karthik (c &wk), Rinku Singh/Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, PiyushChawla, Mitchell Johnson, KuldeepYadav, KamleshNagarkoti/Vinay Kumar

Predictions

KKR have only won 2 out of 7 games at Chepauk against Chennai. Overall, Chennai have won 10 matches out of the 16 played between the two sides. Chennai have won 70 per cent of the matches at home and have won 11 out of their last 12 matches here. The odds are heavily stacked against Kolkata and therefore Chennai hold the slight edge.