MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings has won a whopping 61.2 percent of their IPL games over their 10 seasons and 5 games. That’s the highest win percentage ratio out of all the 8 regular teams. If not for their two-season ban, CSK might have easily pipped Mumbai Indians to the 100-win barrier. CSK currently has 95 wins out of 155 IPL games. KKR, though, have won 90 of their own, with a win percentage of 52, but two IPL titles to their name. At one point in 2015, CSK and KKR were the only two IPL teams to have won two titles a piece. CSK has since returned and won one more, while KKR have been that consistent “playoff” team. On Tuesday night, the two teams – not surprisingly, at the top of the IPL table in 2019 – will do battle for the first time this season.
Captain: MS Dhoni
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Dhoni’s golden oldies recovered tremendously well after going down to bogey team MI in their fourth game. They snuffed out the KXIP chase with superb efficiency, cutting off the oxygen of KL Rahul and Sarfaraz Khan’s partnership. As a result, CSK have won 4 of their first 5 games this season, and are sitting pretty in the top 2 of the points table once again. Man to man, CSK is probably weaker than most teams on paper. But their combined experience has helped them rack up the wins with a clinical eye. Harbhajan Singh has won two Man of the Match awards, while even Faf du Plessis came to the party immediately against KXIP in his first game this season. MS Dhoni has done just about enough as a batsman in the middle order. While there is no visible weakness to this team, there is no major strength either. And that, in a nutshell, is the essence of CSK. Last season, CSK managed to withstand an Andre Russell assault – his 88 (36) gave KKR a high total of 200+, but they chased it down in the final over.
Likely Playing XI:
Du Plessis, Watson, Raina, Rayadu, Jadhav, Dhoni, Jadeja, Kuggeleijn, Chahar, Harbhajan, Tahir
Captain: Dinesh Karthik
Last season, Karthik combined with young Shubman Gill at Eden Gardens for an electric unbeaten partnership of 83 (36) to chase down a CSK total of 178. It was Gill’s first IPL fifty, and Karthik sealed his reputation as India’s back-up chaser. A lot has changed since then – Karthik was recently dropped from India’s ODI setup, but he still stands a chance of making it to the World Cup squad when the team is announced on April 15th. His team has been depending too much on the late Russell assault lately, but they found a way to win without him when the old opening partnership of Lynn and Narine were restored in their last game against the Royals. The spinners, Narine and Kuldeep Yadav, have a big role to play on the slow, low Chennai pitch. Dhoni and his men will be wary – KKR is the team to beat this season. The only match they lost was a Super Over against Delhi Capitals.
Lynn, Narine, Uthappa, Rana, Gill, Karthik, Russell, Chawla, Kuldeep, Harry Gurney, Prasidh Krishna
KKR to dismantle the CSK batting line-up before either Rana or Uthappa plays a big one to win it.