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Kolkata Knight Riders face an inform Chennai Super Kings buoyed by their last win in Abu Dhabi in match 20 of IPL 2020. It is a crucial encounter for both teams who are looking to go up the ladder. Both teams come into this contest on the back of contrasting results in their last game.

While Kolkata Knight Riders lost to Delhi in a high-scoring encounter, CSK aced the chase in Dubai against SRH. This is the first game between the two teams in IPL 2020. More about the KKR vs CSK match preview in detail below.

Dinesh Karthik’s Captaincy for KKR in Focus

For starters, Kolkata Knight Riders have found themselves in a bit of a hole at the moment with their skipper Dinesh Karthik. He is under the scanner after Kolkata’s loss to Delhi in their last game in Sharjah. Backing the out of form Sunil Narine instead of Tom Banton and putting himself ahead of KKR power-hitters Eoin Morgan and Andre Russell has put him on the spot.

To add to his miseries, his response to these questions does not seem conclusive enough as an answer. Therefore, if KKR fails to win the game against Chennai Super Kings and Karthik persists with the same side that he fielded against Delhi, problems will mount for the KKR skipper. His batting form is also a major concern. He has scored just 37 runs in four games for his side so far.

It was a rather off-day for the KKR bowlers against Delhi in Sharjah. After two good performances back to back against SRH and RR, the KKR bowlers went the distance on the flat Sharjah track. They are back in Abu Dhabi against Chennai Super Kings. The big grounds will favour the bowlers, pacers and spinners alike.

Pat Cummins and Andre Russell have been in good bowling form for Kolkata Knight Riders. Russell needs to shine with the bat against CSK. Incidentally, his best IPL score is against this opposition. Varun Chakravarty will look to bounce back as well as the two young Indian pacers.

CSK Look to Continue Winning Run

Chennai Super Kings, on the other hand, tasted their second victory of IPL 2020. The victory was brought up in style as the two old-warhorses showed the way to chase in Dubai. However, this is their second game in Abu Dhabi after their win in the IPL 2020 opener against Mumbai Indians. They look a lot better as a unit after their victory against Chennai Super Kings. One believes that it was a near-perfect game for the side, keeping a few errors on the field aside.

Against Kolkata Knight Riders, they will face an opponent which has two of the best finishers in the game. The management will surely make plans to stop the Morgan-Russell duo. With the ball, Dwayne Bravo needs to be back in form. He bowled a wicketless spell against Kings XI Punjab.

Meanwhile, the openers coming back into form is exactly what CSK was looking for and now having done that, they look a better side against a struggling KKR.

Head to Head: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Chennai Super Kings

In the 23 matches played between the two teams so far, CSK has won 14, while KKR just 8. In the last five meetings between both teams, CSK has won three while Kolkata Knight Riders two. Kolkata lost both their games against Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2019.

Pitch & Weather Conditions

The weather will continue to be hot and humid in the desert. The dew will play its part, however, only two games out of the six played here have been won by the team chasing. KKR and CSK each won their last game chasing at this venue. Both sides prefer chasing over setting a score. It will be interesting to see, who wins the toss at this venue and what does he prefer to do.

Team News

After Kolkata’s loss against Delhi in the last game, there need to be some serious changes in the playing XI for KKR. Banton needs to b a straight swap for Narine. Also, Abu Dhabi being a bigger ground makes a case for Kuldeep Yadav’s selection as well.

However, his form might pose a question mark on his return. Rahul Tripathi should keep his place after a good outing in Sharjah as KKR needs to go in with a batting heavy-side against Chennai.

Chennai Super Kings, on the other hand, will follow their tradition of backing their players, especially after a thumping win. Meanwhile, Du Plessis pulled up his hamstring after the game against KXIP. However, he is expected to be fit in time for the Kolkata Knight Riders match.

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Squads

Kolkata Knight Riders

Dinesh Karthik (Captain), Andre Russell, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Siddhesh Lad, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Eoin Morgan, Varun Chakravarthy, Tom Banton, Rahul Tripathi, Chris Green, M Siddharth, Nikhil Naik, Ali Khan

Chennai Super Kings

MS Dhoni (Captain), Murali Vijay, Ambati Rayudu, Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Kedar Jadhav, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Lungi Ngidi, Deepak Chahar, Piyush Chawla, Imran Tahir, Mitchell Santner, Josh Hazlewood, Shardul Thakur, Sam Curran, N Jagadeesan, KM Asif, Monu Kumar, R Sai Kishore, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Karn Sharma

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