CSK vs KKR IPL 2023: Chennai Super Kings aim to beat Kolkata Knight Riders to sustain push for a

CSK vs KKR IPL 2023: Chennai Super Kings aim to beat Kolkata Knight Riders to sustain push for a

CHENNAI: Two matches to go, and everything to play for. Despite garnering 15 points and reaching the doorstep of playoffs, the Chennai Super Kings cannot afford to breathe easy yet.
The near-unprecedented intensity of competition this season has meant that every point won or lost has major ramifications at the top of the table. So CSK must beat the Kolkata Knight Riders at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday night to sustain their push for a top-two berth.
Warding off the Mumbai Indians’ claim for the second spot will be vital for CSK, as whichever team finishes in the top two will get two chances to make the final.
As has been the case in this season so far, CSK will be banking on their middle-order batters to play high strike-rate cameos that prop up their total. While Devon Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad have consistently given them good starts, it is the quickfire knocks from the likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Shivam Dube that have elevated the momentum in the middle overs, and skipper MS Dhoni has invariably provided the final flourish.

Their previous match against Delhi Capitals was the perfect example. With the ball stopping and turning appreciably, stroke-making was difficult in the first 10 overs. But in walked designated spin-hitter Dube, and changed the complexion of the game with a 12-ball 25.
Dhoni put the cherry on the cake with an exhilarating nine-ball 20 that took his side to a competitive 167.


Head coach Stephen Fleming later said these high-risk cameos are a part and parcel of modern-day T20 strategy, and the knocks by Dube, Dhoni against DC turned a “160 wicket into a 175-180 wicket”.
The batters have also shown the match awareness to not try and blast every ball out of the ground, and instead target specific bowlers on the day. In the DC game, they picked out Lalit Yadav and Khaleel Ahmed for overs that went for 23 and 21 runs, respectively. Assistant coach Eric Simmons feels the fate of games usually hinges on such inflexion points.


CSK vs KKR IPL 2023: Kolkata take on Chennai in a must-win game

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“The whole match turned in that one over (bowled by Lalit). It’s about understanding the key moments. When you recognise that moment, you need to seize it,” Simmons said on Saturday.
The hosts’ middle-order will look to do more of the same against KKR, a side that is virtually out of reckoning for a spot in the playoffs with just five wins in 12 games.


The visitors may have had a lacklustre campaign, but they do possess a strong spin arsenal in the form of Suyash Sharma, Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine.
The trio’s role will be especially crucial at the spin-friendly Chepauk, and how the CSK batters deal with them might well decide which way the match turns.

CSK vs KKR, IPL 2023: ‘Do or die’ situation for Kolkata Knight Riders against Chennai Super Kings

Watch IPL 2023: CSK eye two points to improve play-off chances against KKR

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