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Kolkata Knight Riders aim to ambush Chennai Super Kings at Chepauk

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CHENNAI: The high-flying Kolkata Knight Riders could not have asked for a better time to make the trip to MA Chidambaram Stadium, the ‘fortress’ of reigning champions Chennai Super Kings.
While the Shreyas Iyer-led Kolkata – one of the two unbeaten teams in the competition – have made a rollicking start to the IPL season with three victories on the bounce,

Ruturaj Gaikwad

‘s Chennai have lost their way a bit after suffering back-to-back defeats on the road.

The fact that the Chepauk pitches have been conducive for stroke-making will light up the eyes of the KKR batters, who have smashed more sixes (45 in 3 matches) than fours (44) so far this campaign.

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Globetrotter

Sunil Narine

‘s promotion to the top has worked a treat as the West Indian allrounder joined forces with Phil Salt to feast on the Royal Challengers Bengaluru and Delhi Capitals bowling attacks in the powerplay.
Bubbling with confidence after two consecutive fruitful knocks, Narine, a versatile operator who is as cool as a cucumber, will look to rub salt into the wound of the out-of-form CSK bowling pack on Monday.

His Caribbean colleague

Andre Russell

, too, has been in great nick, having put the icing on the cake whenever called upon to bat.
The bowling unit, led by Australian firebrand Mitch ell Starc, could be a tough nut to crack if the visitors adapt to the nature of the surface quickly. As for CSK, there is no point crying over spilt milk.

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Ruturaj must course-correct to avoid eating up deliveries in the powerplay, while his opening partner Rachin Ravindra will be keen to cream the ball as he did in the first two matches of the season.
The middle-order batters, barring the big-hitting Shivam Dube, are yet to arrive at the party and are struggling to deliver substantial innings.
Veteran wicketkeeper-batter MS Dhoni, a big fish now playing as low as No. 8, aced the end-overs test against DC as if it was a piece of cake, despite having no competitive action prior to the IPL.

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His sweet timing and brute force may be required once again as Super Kings seek to get back on track.
CSK will be delighted to return home, where they have a perfect record this season – they comfortably defeated Royal Challengers and Gujarat Titans. Super Kings will also be boosted by the availability of Mustafizur Rahman, after the Bangladesh left-arm pacer joined the camp late on Sunday following the journey to his home nation.
His pace-bowling partner, Matheesha Pathirana, though, is doubtful and “will not be rushed back into action” after being sidelined with a niggle.

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