Chennai Super Kings (CSK) lock horns with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Match 21 of the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) on Wednesday (October 7) in Abu Dhabi. While KKR are coming off the back of an 18-run loss to Delhi Capitals (DC), CSK registered a thumping 10-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) to move clear of the bottom spot.
As far as CSK are concerned, backing Shane Watson at the top finally paid dividends. Meanwhile, KKR have a lot to ponder about especially when it comes to their batting order.
Be it overall or in the recent past, it is CSK who have the upper hand over KKR in the IPL.
Overall: Matches – 20 | CSK– 13 Wins | KKR – 7 Wins
Last 5 matches: CSK – 3 Wins | KKR – 2 Wins
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms we come up with six different teams that could fetch crucial points.
This will be the eighth match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium this season and so far, the teams batting first have won four, while the teams chasing have registered three wins. In T20s since 2018, Abu Dhabi has witnessed a wicket fall every 21.3 deliveries, which is the worst from a bowling viewpoint when compared to Dubai and Sharjah. However, with an economy rate of 7.3, Abu Dhabi is the most economical of the three venues.
The trend has continued even this season wherein Abu Dhabi has been the most economical (8) venue and wickets have fallen every 21.4 deliveries, which is the worst. However, bowlers have managed to strike every 28.6 runs this season in Abu Dhabi, which is the best when compared to Dubai and Sharjah.
While spinners have been more economical in Abu Dhabi this season, it is the pacers who have picked up more wickets and have struck at regular intervals. In fact, pacers have done much better in Abu Dhabi this year, picking up a wicket every 21.4 deliveries, 28.6 runs apart, which is the best for them among the three stadiums.
While it will be important to have a spinner in your team, stocking up with as many quality pacers as possible would certainly fetch your fantasy team a lot of points.
There could be a few interesting match-ups too
With Shane Watson clearly not having gotten the better of Sunil Narine in T20s, it could be a great idea to try the off-spinner in the Powerplay and let him have a go at the Australia batsman. Watson returned to form with an unbeaten 83 off 53 in the previous game, but Narine is yet to make an impact with ball or for that matter, even with the bat this season. This could very well be the game that changes it.
MS Dhoni’s side registered a comprehensive win over KXIP in the previous match. While CSK can breathe a sigh of relief temporarily, they cannot afford to sit back and relax for a long time, least of all when Pat Cummins is steaming in. The battle between Cummins and Dhoni could be a riveting one. Dhoni clearly has not dominated Cummins in the nine T20 innings he has faced Cummins, but the Aussie fast bowler has certainly managed to keep the CSK captain quiet, dismissing him twice along the way.
Andre Russell’s batting position has been up for discussion right from the beginning of the tournament. The burly all-rounder has managed just 48 from three innings so far and could very well take Ravindra Jadeja, who has been low on confidence with the ball, to the cleaners. Russell has dominated Jadeja in T20s, scoring at a strike rate of over 207 in seven innings. We can expect some fireworks from Abu Dhabi when this battle takes shape.
Faf du Plessis has been one of the most consistent batsmen in IPL 2020, having notched up 282 runs at 94 and a strike rate of 150 from his five innings already. He stitched together a wonderful partnership – an unbeaten 181 – for the first wicket with Watson as CSK returned to winning ways on Sunday. He takes his time initially, scoring at a strike rate of just 86 off the first 10 deliveries he faces, but then in the next 10, it goes up to 159.18 and consequently 197.50. Once he’s in, he could be tough to stop.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts du Plessis could score 16-39 runs in this match.
In fact, two-time IPL winning captain Gautam Gambhir has picked both de Plessis and Watson in his fantasy XI for this game:
Deepak Chahar has been Dhoni’s main bowler in the Powerplay for a couple of seasons now and more often than not, he has delivered. In fact since the beginning of IPL 2019, Chahar has picked up 17 wickets in the first six overs, which is the most, ahead of Harbhajan Singh (9), Ishant Sharma (8) and Khaleel Ahmed (8). Chahar has picked up five wickets in as many matches this season. He will play at Abu Dhabi for the second time this season and the conditions could help him scalp a few important ones.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Chahar could pick up 1-2 wickets in this match.
Shubman Gill has looked in good touch especially in the last three games, which included an unbeaten 70 in KKR’s win over SRH in Abu Dhabi. The KKR batsman does not have a particularly high strike rate (117.8) but has managed to score 152 runs at an average of 50.67 so far. While he may take his time to get going, he could still make a valuable contribution to his side and consequently fetch your fantasy team some valuable points.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Gill could score 14-37 runs in this match.
One of the fiercest strikers of the ball, Andre Russell has had a quiet tournament so far and this could be the game where he gets going and registers a massive score. While his batting position has been the talk of the town, he certainly does not need many balls to get a big score like he has shown many times in the past. In fact, in the IPL since 2018, Russell has the most runs (537) at the death after MS Dhoni (636). The West Indies all-rounder has scored these at an impressive strike rate of 226.6. In addition to his batting prowess, Russell is also a handy bowler, having already picked up four wickets in as many matches this season.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Russell could score 10-27 runs and pick up 0-1 wicket in this match.