Chennai Super Kings vs Kings XI Punjab, Dubai

Pro Tip:

The scores at the venue have been on the decrease. This match will be played on a used pitch so have enough bowlers and a few middle order batsmen.

Our XI: MS Dhoni (wk), KL Rahul, Nicholas Pooran, Mayank Agarwal(c), Faf Du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, Sam Curran(vc), Ravi Bishnoi, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Shami, Sheldon Cottrell

Substitutes: Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ravindra Jadeja, M Ashwin, Dwayne Bravo

NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.

Player availability: All players are available for selection.

Captain: Mayank Agarwal

Agarwal has already played three games at this venue and knows exactly how to pace an innings here. He is also the highest run-scorer of this season at the moment with 246 runs at a strike rate of 166.21.

Vice-captain: Sam Curran

Curran bowls in the powerplay for the Super Kings and has also been batting in the top six. If Punjab play a couple of legspinners, he might be promoted up the order as well. Given his knack of taking wickets and ability to score boundaries, he is a good vice-captain choice.

Hot Picks

Nicholas Pooran: Pooran has shown some promise off late, after scoring a well compiled 44 against Mumbai Indians. With a legspinner and a left-arm spinner part of the Super Kings line-up, Pooran can be expected to go big again.

MS Dhoni: Dhoni struggled to hit the big shots in the last game, but he got some much-needed match time. Dhoni will be looking to bat slightly up the order and lead from the front to put his team back on track.

Faf du Plessis: Super Kings' best batsman this season, du Plessis has gone back to opening the batting. Since 2018 in the IPL, he has scored 580 runs at an average of 34.11 and a strike rate of 123.66 as an opener. Combine that with the form that he is in and that makes him a must-have.

Differential Picks

Deepak Chahar: Chahar bowls majority of his overs in the powerplay and bowls them economically as well. Since 2018, he has gone at 7.17 in the powerplay, picking up 37 wickets in the league. He is capable of dismantling the Kings XI openers and that could make a huge difference.

Sheldon Cottrell: Another bowler who bowls a lot in the powerplay. He has picked up four wickets in four games in the powerplay, going at an economy of 6.20. Against a vulnerable Super Kings line-up, he could provide some early breakthroughs.

Alternate Scenarios

  • Rahul is probably a safer captain option given Super Kings have a couple of strike bowlers up front but off late, Mayank has been in better hitting form. Go with your gut and choose one of them after the toss.

  • Pooran is also a captain choice as he will be facing quite a few overs of spin and both CSK spinners turn the ball into him. Pooran strikes at 167.81 against leg spin and 151.78 against left-arm spin in all T20s since 2017.

  • KXIP might look to bring in M Ashwin or Mujeeb in place of K Gowtham or Maxwell. If Mujeeb plays, replace one of the Kings XI bowlers with him.

  • If Super Kings bat second, Sam Curran may not get to bat so an alternate vice-captain option is Ambati Rayudu. Rayudu's only innings at number three (other than the game vs Sunrisers) came against Kings XI when he scored a 35-ball 49.