IPL 2018, Match 56, Chennai Super Kings vs Kings XI Punjab - Match Prediction

Published - 20 May 2018, 02:41 PM

Chennai Super Kings
Credits: BCCI

Table of Contents

Not only it will be a must-win clash for Punjab; they have to make sure they beat the Chennai Super Kings by a huge margin if they harbour hopes of going through to the playoffs of IPL 2018.

They had played some quality cricket at the start of the tournament. However, a string of lacklustre performances has almost knocked them out. Their only hope will be that Mumbai loses today’s earlier game and they manage to beat Chennai by a substantial margin to get their net run rate ahead of Rajasthan.

It will be a challenging prospect for the Kings XI Punjab. They started the tournament with five victories from six matches. However, their performances faded considerably, and hence they are on the verge of elimination. The form of KL Rahul has been a huge positive for Punjab all through the tournament.

Even in the previous clash against Mumbai, Rahul scored a magnificent 94 before being bamboozled by a terrific slower delivery from Jasprit Bumrah.

However, the middle-order has been quite fragile which has been one of the major reason behind Punjab’s downfall in the later stages of the tournament. The form of Yuvraj Singh has been a concern all through the tournament. Meanwhile, Chris Gayle’s heroics in the first few matches are nowhere to be seen now.

Kings XI Punjab Rajasthan Royals
Lokesh Rahul. Photo by: Rahul Gulati /SPORTZPICS for BCCI

Gayle needs to fire along with Rahul if Punjab hopes to beat Chennai by a big margin. On the other hand, CSK won’t be bothered too much after their defeat to the bottom-placed Delhi Daredevils. They were complacent during the run-chase which proved to be decisive in the end. The top order has been quite brilliant on a consistent basis.

Also Read: IPL 2018: Match 53, Rajasthan Royals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore – Statistical Highlights

Ambati Rayudu has been in the form of his life and has been churning out runs with disdain. He has been in phenomenal touch and will look to finish off the group stage with a spanking knock. However, there is a chance Rayudu might be rested ahead of the playoffs to keep him fresh. Shane Watson has also been an able partner and has supported him quite efficiently.

Dhoni will be a tad worried about the death bowling performance of Dwayne Bravo in the tournament so far.

He has gone for runs and Dhoni has been searching for answers in the death overs, The skipper’s form has also been one of the talking points of the season. Dhoni has made runs quite consistently and will look to continue his good form with the willow.

Team Combinations

Chennai Super Kings

MSK Prasad, Stephen Fleming
Ambati Rayudu of the Chennai Superkings celebrates his century during match forty-six of the Vivo Indian Premier League 2018 (IPL 2018) between the Chennai Super Kings and the Sunrisers Hyderabad held at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Cricket Stadium, Pune on the 13th May 2018. Photo by: Luke Walker /SPORTZPICS for BCCI

The Super Kings might employ a few changes. However, to make sure they finish in the top two, Dhoni might be tempted to go with a relatively unchanged team.

There is a chance that both Rayudu and Watson get rested. If that’s the case, Murali Vijay might get his second game of the season. Faf du Plessis, in that case, will again be seen batting up the order. If the pitch offers some spin, we might also see the return of Imran Tahir.

Predicted XI: Shane Watson/Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu/Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Sam Billings, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Lungisani Ngidi/Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh, Deepak Chahar

Kings XI Punjab

Punjab might bring in Killer-Miller for the all-important clash. They need some serious power hitters to help them score a huge total if they bat first or end up chasing a total in very quick time. If Miller plays, Stoinis might face the axe.

Mujeeb-ur-Rahman will make the cut if declared fit. Karun Nair might also return at the expense of Yuvraj Singh.

Predicted XI: KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch, David Miller, Karun Nair, Manoj Tiwary, Ravichandran Ashwin (c), Axar Patel, Mohit Sharma, Ankit Rajpoot, Andrew Tye

Match Prediction

Andrew Tye (Credits: IPL/BCCI)

It will be a tough ask for Punjab to win today’s evening clash. However, they will need to have the confidence of winning by a big margin.

However, I have a feeling that Chennai will finish the group stage on a high and will confirm their place in the two positions of the playoffs.

Also Read: IPL 2018: Ajinkya Rahane Lavishes Praise On Rahul Tripathi And Shreyas Gopal