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IPL 2021, CSK vs KKR preview: Teams look to halt respective magical run

Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders are on a magical run in the IPL 2021. As the two collide on Sunday, one of their runs would end, as we present the preview of the same.

IPL 2021, CSK vs KKR (Chennai vs Kolkata) preview: Team analysis, head-to-head, pitch, probable, fantasy xi-ayh
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Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates, First Published Sep 25, 2021, 1:49 PM IST
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Two former champions, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), are all set to collide in Match 38 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. Both teams are on a magical run, winning both the games of the UAE leg so far.

While CSK is placed atop the table, with seven wins from nine, a win here would more or less seal its playoffs berth. Meanwhile, KKR is ranked fourth, with four wins from nine and would look to continue with its newly-found momentum. Ahead of this compelling clash, here is the preview of it.

Team composition
Considering the team's composition, CSK is slightly heavy on its bowling, which was evident by its comeback in its last game against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Although it has a fertile batting line-up, it tends to mess things up while playing on the tracks of the UAE. Once again, the focus would be on top guns like Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, and skipper MS Dhoni.

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As for KKR, it, too, is somewhat heavy on its bowling. However, its batting has drawn the attention of late, especially the openers Shubman Gill and uncapped Venkatesh Iyer, who are giving a tough time to the bowlers. While they would look to continue with the trend, the focus would also be upon skipper Eoin Morgan, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy, Lockie Ferguson and Prasidh Krishna.

Injury concerns: None of the sides has any injury concerns going into the game.

LIVE SCORECARD: IPL 2021 - CSK vs KKR

IPL 2021, CSK vs KKR (Chennai vs Kolkata) preview: Team analysis, head-to-head, pitch, probable, fantasy xi-ayh

Head-to-head
The two sides have clashed on 26 instances, with CSK leading 16-9, while in IPL, of the 24 games, CSK leads 15-8. Both have faced each other twice in the UAE, winning a piece, while the only game between the two in Abi Dhabi saw KKR triumph.

Weather and pitch report
The Abu Dhabi weather would be hot, with around 37 degrees of temperature and almost 55% humidity. The track has surprisingly aided the batsmen so far. However, generally known to stay on the slower side, it could be the other way around if the strip is changed.

Probable XI
CSK:
Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar and Josh Hazlewood.
KKR: Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy and Prasidh Krishna.

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Fantasy XI
Batters:
Gaikwad, du Plessis (c), Venkatesh, Triptahi- Gaikwad, de Plessis and Venkatesh are the best top-order options, while any two of them can open. Tripathi can consolidate in the middle, while du Plessis's reliable form makes him the skipper.
Wicketkeeper: Karthik- He is the man in the form here and surpasses Dhoni.
All-rounders: Moeen, Jadeja (c), Russell- All the three have been in splendid form. While Moeen is impacting with the bat, Jadeja is doing the same with the ball, as Russell can do the same in all departments. Also, Jadeja's reliable form makes him the skipper.
Bowlers: Chahar, Chakravarthy, Krishna- Chahar and Krishna have been satisfying all with their pace, while Chakravarthy is a no-brainer for his lethal spin.

Match details
Date and day:
September 26, 2021 (Sunday)
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Time: 3.30 PM (IST)
Where to watch (TV): Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 Hindi (Also available in HD, along with regional languages)
Where to watch (Online): Hotstar

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