CSK suffered their first defeat at the hands of Mumbai Indians in their last match and would be hoping to get back to winning ways as they return to their den.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will host Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in match 18 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on April 6 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Both teams come into this game having lost just one game all season with six points from four matches.
Dhoni and company saw their unbeaten start to the season come to an abrupt end in their previous match against Mumbai Indians (MI). At Wankhede, MI had just 125 runs on the board with two overs remaining but a late burst from Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya saw them post a total of 170/5. CSK were quickly reduced to 33/3 within the first 5 overs and barring Kedar Jadhav (58), none of the other batsmen registered significant knocks as they lost by 37 runs.
Punjab on the other hand come into this game after snatching victory from the jaws of defeat against the Delhi Capitals at Mohali. Batting first, KXIP who were without the ‘Universe Boss’ only managed to post 166. Delhi were cruising towards victory when Mohammed Shami castled Rishabh Pant in the 17th over. With just 23 required off the next 20 balls Delhi lost their last 7 wickets for just 8 runs with Sam Curran rounding up the 14-run victory with a hat-trick.
A win for either side will propel them to the top of the table where they will remain unless Sunrisers Hyderabad record their fourth win of the season against MI in the next game. MS Dhoni and his team were dominant in their first three games and will be eager to put their latest setback behind them when they take the field in front of their home fans.
Timing – 4 pm
Venue – MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.
Where to watch – Star Sports 1/1HD/1 Hindi/1HD Hindi/1 Tamil/1 Telugu/1 Kannada/1 Bangla/Select 1/Select 1HD. Online viewers can catch the action live on Hotstar.
Head to head:
The two teams have faced off against each other on 20 occasions in the past with CSK holding the edge with 12 wins as compared to KXIP's 8.
There is some uncertainty over Dwayne Bravo's fitness as the all-rounder suffered a hamstring injury against Mumbai. If he isn’t able to recover in time then we could see Scott Kuggeleijn replace him in the playing XI. Mohit Sharma could also make way to accommodate an extra spinner in the form of either Harbhajan Singh or Mitchell Santner.
KXIP will have to find a way to accommodate Gayle against CSK as the hard-hitting West Indian could be vital to give them a good start. Varun Chakravarthy didn't enjoy a great debut against Kolkata but would be a great addition especially having built his reputation while bowling at the Chepauk.
Prediction: who will win?
CSK have been dominant so far at home with two wins out of two, however KXIP look the more dominant side coming into this game and could just pull off an upset victory against the reigning IPL champions.
Betting odds (Bet365):
Chennai Super Kings: 4/6
Kings XI Punjab: 6/5
Other popular bets can be viewed on Oddschecker.com.
MA Chidambaram Stadium Pitch Report: The pitch offers great turn for the spinners and both teams boast of some quality spin bowling options in their line-ups. The team batting second will hold the advantage with the dew making it difficult for the bowlers to grip the ball.
Moneycontrol Dream XI: Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, Kedar Jadhav, Mayank Agarwal, MS Dhoni (WK), David Miller, Sam Curran, Ravichandran Ashwin, Imran Tahir, Mohammed Shami and Deepak Chahar.
Players to watch out for:
Imran Tahir (CSK)
The 40-year-old has shown that age is just a number as he has been CSK's best bowler so far picking up 7 wickets from just 4 games is currently second in the race for the Purple Cap.
Sam Curran (KXIP)
In just two matches, Curran has picked up 6 wickets to become Punjab's highest wicket-taker this season. He starred with both bat and ball in the previous game, scoring 20 off 10 balls while opening the innings and later picking up a hat-trick in a Man-of-the-Match performance.
IPL points table:Both teams have six points from their first four fixtures. However, KXIP occupy second spot due to a superior net run rate followed by CSK in third spot. Check out the updated points table here.