IPL 2018: Match preview of Chennai vs Kolkata

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India May 03, 2018, 02.08 PM(IST)

A file photo of MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik. Photograph:( PTI )

Table-topper Chennai is all set to destroy Kolkata's home coming as the two teams lock horns at the Eden Garden on Thursday.
 
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's vintage form has added to their strength and the team would look to continue their winning momentum.

Dhoni has turned back the clock with his last three innings, two of them half centuries, adding to the fine run of imposing all-rounder Shane Watson.

Chennai are currently leading the eight-team table with 12 points from six wins out of eight games.

Both the teams are here on the back of two morale-boosting wins. While Kolkata successfully chased 176 against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Bengaluru.

Chennai also reigned supreme against Delhi at their adopted home in Pune.

Half-centuries from Watson and Dhoni blasted Chennai to its third 200-plus score and then young fast bowlers Lungi Ngidi and KM Asif choked Delhi's chase to hand Chennai its sixth win of the season.

In batting, Watson, who struggled for Bangalore last season, has been a revelation.

Backed by Dhoni, the veteran Australian all-rounder slammed this season's highest score -- 106 -- his fourth T20 hundred.

Ambati Rayudu too has gone about his tasks quietly, be it as an opener or in the middle-order to lead the batting chart with 370 runs.

Then there is Dhoni himself. Dhoni is currently averaging 71.50 with three half-centuries. 

His knock of 70 not out from 34 balls to hunt down Virat-Kohli-led side's 205 still remains the talk of the town. The way he sealed the game with his signature swing over wide long on boundary brought back memories of the 2011 World Cup triumph.

In the mid-table with six matches to go, Kolkata cannot afford to lose at Eden Gardens, where they play three more, in their bid to secure a maiden play-off berth under Dinesh Karthik.

Kolkata's campaign, so far, has been hugely dependent on the overseas trio of Chris Lynn, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine.

Lynn was the architect of Kolkata's six-wicket win in Bangalore with a restrained knock of 62 not out from 52 balls after he got a reprieve on seven.

The franchise would hope for a strong batting show, especially from Robin Uthappa who is in the middle of a lean patch and is yet to score a half-century.

Teams 
Kolkata: Dinesh Karthik (C), Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Shivam Mavi, Mitchell Johnson, Shubman Gill, R Vinay Kumar, Rinku Singh, Cameron Delport, Javon Searless, Apoorv Wankhade, Ishank Jaggi, Tom Curran.

Chennai: MS Dhoni (C), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, KM Asif, Kanishk Seth, Lungi Ngidi, Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, N Jagadeesan, David Willey.