Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Dubai
Pro Tip: Given the inconsistency in the two batting orders, have a mix of top- and middle-order batsmen from both teams.
Our XI: Faf du Plessis, Shubman Gill, Ambati Rayudu, Eoin Morgan, MS Dhoni, Sunil Narine, Sam Curran, Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy, Lockie Ferguson
Substitutes: Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Mitchell Santner
Player availability: Andre Russell should be fit in time for this game, so all players are available for selection.
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.
Captain: Faf du Plessis
Du Plessis has been the best batsman for the Super Kings by far, having scored 401 runs at a healthy strike rate of 140.70. He has been dismissed only once in the middle overs, a phase where he has a strike rate of 122.38. Du Plessis has also batted aggressively at the death, with a strike rate of 263.33 this season.
Vice-captain: Eoin Morgan
Morgan, too, has been in decent touch. He has 335 runs at a strike rate of 131.37. Given he will probably be batting at No. 5, he will have the opportunity to play the finisher's role for the Knight Riders. Morgan's strike rate at the death this season is a whopping 225.86, with the Super Kings too having conceded at 10.54 runs an over in that phase.
Ambati Rayudu: Rayudu has scored 30-plus in six out of nine innings, including a fifty. He can rotate the strike as well as take the attack to the opposition in any phase of the game. Since 2018, in the IPL, he has a strike rate of 122.76 in the powerplay and 124.73 in the middle overs. Rayudu's boundary percentage in the middle overs is also an impressive 54.1.
Shubman Gill: Gill got back into form against the Kings XI Punjab in the last match with a free-flowing 57. Among the six batsmen who have opened the batting for the Knight Riders on at least three occasions since 2019, Gill has scored the most runs: 607 at an average of 40.46 and a strike rate of 122.62.
Sam Curran: Curran is the Super Kings' highest wicket-taker with 13 wickets at an economy of 8.32. Curran has been consistently contributing with the bat as well, having scored 52 against the Mumbai Indians just two matches ago.
Varun Chakravarthy: Varun has probably been the most impactful bowler for the Knight Riders this season. He has bowled tight lines, which has kept his economy on the lower side. Varun has picked up 13 wickets too, and has an excellent economy of 6.9 in the middle overs, a phase in which he has got 11 wickets.
Lockie Ferguson: Ferguson has had an impact in all the games he has played. Given that the Knight Riders are in a nearly must-win situation, he might bowl in the powerplay too, thus increasing his chances of taking wickets. In four games, Ferguson has picked up six wickets at a brilliant economy of 5.93 and a strike rate of 15.8.
If Russell returns, replace Ferguson with him. Russell is also an alternate vice-captain option if he plays.
Wait for the toss to see if the Super Kings rest some regular players. There is a possibility of them replacing du Plessis with Shane Watson. If that happens, make the swap in your XI and choose Rayudu as your captain.
Imran Tahir has gone wicketless in the two games he has played, so an alternate option for him is allrounder Mitchell Santner.