MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, IPL 2018, Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders
MS Dhoni (left) and Dinesh Karthik will look to bank on their respective form © AFP

Match 33 of the VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 will see Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) clash against Chennai Super Kings (CSK). The match will be played at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata. CSK have the psychological advantage over KKR, having won 4 games out of 7 at the stadium. MS Dhoni and co. had earlier defeated Dinesh Karthik’s side in Match 5, at Chepauk. CSK won that game by 5 wickets off the penultimate ball. KKR cannot afford more lapses as things may get tight at the wee end.

IPL 2018: KKR's Nitish Rana skips training session due to back spasm
IPL 2018: KKR's Nitish Rana skips training session due to back spasm

CSK are coming off a win against Delhi Daredevils (DD), whereas KKR have beaten Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the their previous match. KKR have a problem in bowling department, where they have been guilty of leaking too many runs. Their fielding also has.  Nitish Rana’s fitness remains an issue for them; his loss would be a big blow. Rinku Singh could come in for him in the middle-order.

CSK, meanwhile have a happy problem in their batting department. There are far too many contenders eyeing a spot. Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Dhoni and Faf du Plessis mauled DD’s bowling in the last match. Dhoni in particular looked in prime form. They look sorted as a unit with the likes of Shardul Thakur Shane Watson and Dwayne Bravo often jumping to rescue.

KM Asif, too, did a good job replacing the injured Deepak Chahar. He is expected to retain his place.

Likely XIs: 

Kolkata Knight Riders: Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana/Rinku Singh, Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Mitchell Johnson , Kuldeep Yadav, Shivam Mavi

Chennai Super Kings: Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Karn Sharma, Lungi Ngidi, KM Asif

Predictions:

Chennai have the form with them. Though KKR will be playing at their home turf, it would be a task for them to stop the CSK juggernaut. The contest between CSK’s batters and KKR’s spinners will go on to prove decisive.