The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will be hosting the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Match 61 of the IPL 2023 season at the Chepauk on Sunday. The two teams have had contrasting seasons, but the game is crucial for both for different reasons. Chennai are on 15 points with 7 wins and a win would seal their place in the playoffs. MS Dhoni and his men wouldn’t really want a slip-up at home which would then put them in probably a do-or-die situation in their last game.
KKR, on the other hand, faced a crushing defeat in their previous match against the Rajasthan Royals (RR) and will need to win their remaining matches to keep the slim hopes of playoffs alive. They just cannot afford another flat performance, especially against Chennai in their own den.
On that note, Let’s take a look at the three match-ups that could decide the flow of the game:
#3 Ruturaj Gaikwad vs Sunil Narine
Ruturaj Gaikwad has been batting at a fierce pace for CSK. He may not have many big scores to his name, but he has given CSK some quick-fire starts. Kolkata is in a tricky situation with, Sunil Narine as he hasn’t quite lived up to the billing this season. However, the Chepauk pitch might just have enough turn-in to keep Narine interested. Gaikwad has amassed 55 runs off 39 balls bowled by Narine to him in T20s. But the fact that Narine has also dismissed the right-hander once will be something that will give him hope.
#2 Andre Russell vs Ravindra Jadeja
Andre Russell has played just a few cameos for KKR this season, but there have been times when he would probably agree that the shots he played to get dismissed weren’t necessarily needed at that point. Russell seems to have a weakness against the delivery that turns away from him and that makes his match-up with Ravindra Jadeja an interesting one.
ALSO READ: Match 61 (CSK vs KKR) – Playing XI And Fantasy XI Predictions
The explosive all-rounder has a great record against Jadeja in all the shortest formats of the game, as he has scored 69 runs in just 38 balls. However, Jadeja has also dismissed him a couple of times and it may not be easy for Russell to just hit through the line on the Chepauk pitch which offers a bit of grip and turn to the spinners.
#1 MS Dhoni vs Varun Chakravarthy
KKR made a smart move by using Varun CV in the slog overs in their win against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on a slow pitch. With Chepauk likely to offer similar conditions, Kolkata might be tempted to hold Varun back. This could also mean that he could be bowling to CSK skipper MS Dhoni and that could be an advantage to the visitors. Chakravarthy has conceded just 16 runs against the legendary batter and has dismissed him thrice.