It will be a homecoming of sorts for the Kings XI Punjab skipper Ravichandran Ashwin against Chennai Super Kings at the Chepauk Stadium in Chennai. This match #18 of the Indian Premier League 2019 season will be played on Saturday.
Both sides have identical records (W3, L1), with only net run rate separating them. Chennai saw their three-match winning run halted in Mumbai, while Kings XI have two wins in two games.
Chennai haven’t had any big contributions from their batsmen, but they didn’t need to. MS Dhoni (119 runs, SR 116.66) remains their saviour in tough times, although the poor returns of Ambati Rayudu (34 runs, SR 60.71) is a huge worry.
Dwayne Bravo (seven wickets) will be missed, due to a hamstring injury. Imran Tahir (seven wickets, ER 5.50) and Deepak Chahar (four wickets, ER 5.13) have been their bowling pillars. With the home conditions set to favour their spinners, it could be another low-scoring encounter.
Kings XI Preview
Chris Gayle (139 runs, SR 165.47) sat out of the last match, but Kings XI have quality in their batting with Mayank Agarwal (129 runs, SR 146.59) showing good consistency. KL Rahul’s hide-and-seek form (SR 118.18) will be the focus, as they face the challenge of a turning pitch.
Ravi Ashwin has a number of spin options available, complete with Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Murugan Ashwin and Varun Chakravarthy. Sam Curran’s returns (six wickets) make it a point to keep him going.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Imran Tahir has figures of 3/9 and 2/23 in his last matches at this venue. The wily leg-spinner is definitely at home with the conditions and could be a vital pick for your fantasy side.
Ravichandran Ashwin comes home, where his record reads 48 wickets in 42 T20s at an ER of 6.18. He knows the pitch like the back of his hand and could be a handful for the Kings XI batsmen.
Mayank Agarwal has shown that he can lead the side with scores of 22, 58, 43 & 6. The low score in his last match looks a blip on his radar.
CSK: 1 Ambati Rayudu 2 Shane Watson 3 Suresh Raina 4 Kedar Jadhav 5 MS Dhoni (C & WK) 6 Ravindra Jadeja 7 Deepak Chahar 8 Imran Tahir 9 Harbhajan Singh 10 Scott Kuggeleign 11 Mohit Sharma
Kings XI: 1 Chris Gayle 2 KL Rahul (WK) 3 Mayank Agarwal 4 Sarfaraz Khan 5 David Miller 6 Mandeep Singh 7 Sam Curran 8 Ravichandran Ashwin (C) 9 Murugan Ashwin 10 Mujeeb Ur Rahman 11 Mohammed Shami
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