Once again there are two matches in the Indian Premier League on Sunday and the first of them comes from Eden Gardens where the Kolkata Knight Riders host the team running away with the regular season so far in the Chennai Super Kings.
These two have already played once this season on a dog of a wicket in Chepauk where the Super Kings ran out comfortable winners but on a track more conducive to good T20 cricket I’m expecting a much better contest here.
Kolkata Knight Riders
After a good start to the season which saw Kolkata Knight Riders win four of their first five matches, they have now lost the last two and questions are just beginning to be asked of them a little more seriously. Can they win matches batting first? Can their bowling attack get back to the mean and tight nature of previous seasons or are the Knight Riders flattering to deceive?
Those questions inevitably come when a team is on a bad trot and while they are legitimate concerns in this format a team is only a win away from getting back on track. It would be nice if Kolkata’s top order contributed more and it would be welcome if their bowlers were much tighter but they’ve still shown they can win matches even when that is not necessarily the case.
Chennai Super Kings
If any side have mastered the art of tight successes it is the Chennai Super Kings and they picked up another one last time out when they came from the clouds to beat the Rajasthan Royals late on. The defending champions are quite simply the best franchise in the world at holding their nerve and getting the job done when the pressure cooker is cranked up to its highest heat.
That is a big thing too. Chennai are not the best team going round man for man and neither are they the fittest but the experience of having been there and done it and knowing you can get over the line in tight situations can take you a long way. As it is, I fancy there could be a big showing from the Chennai batsmen soon even if their bowling is due to tail off a little.
Kolkata Knight Riders will hope that the virus that affected the camp and stopped Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine playing the last game has passed and if it has both men are likely to reclaim their places in the side. Andre Russell doesn’t look at all fit but there are no indications that he is set to miss out.
Kolkata isn’t really the place for a bunch of spinners leading the attack so we should probably expect Scott Kuggeleijn to come back into their ranks. Mitchell Santner would be the obvious man for him to replace despite hitting the last ball for six to win the previous match.
I repeatedly say I need to see the outcome of the toss here before I bet on the match winner and we keep on seeing why with the chasing side easing to victory regularly. It is boring to need that but given how essential it is on this ground it really is the only way to play things. Luckily enough there is a side market bet that I like the look of.
That comes in the form of the boundaries where in a day game I don’t think a 45.5 line is quite high enough here. We regularly see the boundaries get peppered on this ground and when Chennai Super Kings go for them they can hit them regularly. I thought it was significant that Ambati Rayudu got some form in the last match and so I expect both teams to bat very well. This has all the makings of a high scoring match with stacks of boundaries.
Back Over 45.5 boundaries for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with William Hill
Back it here: