Venue: Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Time: 3:30 PM IST
Average score at venue: 164
Win percentage while batting first: 45.45%
- With the odd ball skidding, bouncing and surprising the batsmen, it is generally going to be a batting-friendly wicket at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Sunday afternoon in the contest between Chennai and Kolkata.
- Fast bowlers will enjoy some assistance from the pitch since there is fresh grass present on the surface in the Abu Dhabi stadium. Their wicket-share percentage at this venue is 69.44% compared to 30.56% for the spin bowlers.
It will be a hot Sunday afternoon for players from the teams Team Chennai and Team Kolkata during their daytime clash, which will witness temperatures as high as 37°C at the time of the start of the contest, dropping down to around 34°C. The humidity level will linger around 50%.
Matches played: 24
Team Chennai won: 15
Team Kolkata won: 8
Top 3 players from Team Chennai: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis
Top 3 players from Team Kolkata: Venkatesh Iyer, Shubman Gill, Lockie Ferguson
Top picks for H2H/WTA contest (top 5 players each):
Top 5 players from Team Chennai: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Deepak Chahar
Top 5 players from Team Kolkata: Venkatesh Iyer, Shubman Gill, Lockie Ferguson, Rahul Tripathi, M Prasidh Krishna
Should I pick more bowlers, batsmen or all-rounders?
It is a contest between two heavily lopsided teams in Indian T20 League 2021. While Team Chennai are at the top of the points table, Team Kolkata have just started making their way back among top teams, having recently defeated the defending champions Mumbai in a comprehensive manner. The presence of bowlers such as Josh Hazlewood, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy and even M Prasidh Krishna make the contest enticing. The batsmen from both ends will face a stern challenge in terms of getting runs, thus, it will still be wise to add more to the batting strength since scoreboard pressure is what helps in victories and both the teams will want to make most of the opportunity of batting first — whoever gets to do so.
From which team should I pick more players in my XI? Which team is stronger?
If there is one team which has made a strong statement since the beginning of the second leg of Indian T20 League 2021 in the UAE, it has to be Team Kolkata. The two-time IPL winners have defeated Bangalore and Mumbai — both their opponents were in the top four when these contests were played — to stage a remarkable comeback after a meek campaign in India in the first leg. Kolkata’s victory by 7 wickets against Mumbai also helped them break into the top four, thus pushing down the defending champions to the fifth position. But it will still be an uphill task for Team Kolkata to maintain their standing and competition against the teams placed over them. Their first such test will be on Sunday afternoon against Team Chennai, who are indeed a better team across all departments given that all of the Chennai batsmen have been among runs, their bowlers are taking wickets and the team is performing as a well-oiled unit.
Players’ form: Team Kolkata opening batsman Venkatesh Iyer is the one to watch out for. The left-handed opening batsman has raked up scores of 41 not out and 53 against Bangalore and Mumbai in his last two matches, promising Kolkata a strong start at the top irrespective whether they bat first or second. Rahul Tripathi has also shown great form with his splendid 74 against Mumbai. The same can be said for young Team Chennai opening batsman Gaikwad, who has flourished in the company of seasoned campaigner and former South Africa captain du Plessis. Ferguson bowled a terrific spell against Mumbai in the previous match, and for Chennai, the likes of Chahar and Bravo were terrific too.
Changes in squad (if any): YES
Team Chennai: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, M Dhonii (c&wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Josh Hazlewood, Shardul Thakur.
Team Kolkata: Venkatesh Iyer, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy.
FANTASY XI: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Venkatesh Iyer (c), Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, M Dhonii (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo/Lockie Ferguson, Deepak Chahar, Varun Chakaravarthy (vc), Prasidh Krishna.
Team Chennai wary of resurgent Team Kolkata
M Dhonii’s rampant Team Chennai will be wary of the resurgent Team Kolkata led by England captain Eoin Morgan, when the two teams clash in the Match No 38 of the ongoing Indian T20 League 2021 tournament second leg in the UAE.
Team Kolkata crushed Mumbai, the defending champions this year, by 7 wickets in a one-sided contest a few nights ago to break into the top four of the Indian T20 League 2021 points table. Kolkata are currently placed 4th with 8 points in 9 matches, winning 4 games while losing 5.
Out of these 4 victories, 2 have come in the last as many matches since Kolkata had entered the second leg of Indian T20 League 2021 after a disappointing run of performances in India. The team looked out of sorts, the batting was misfiring and the bowlers were generally struggling as Kolkata lost 5 matches out of 7 they played in India.
But on the back of some impressive batting by young batsmen such as Iyer, Gill and Tripathi, powered by impressive bowling performances by Krishna, Chakravarthy and Ferguson, Team Kolkata have been able to make a strong return in the race for Indian T20 League 2021 knockouts.
But Kolkata’s resurgence will face a stern challenge against the rampant Team Chennai, who are sitting deservingly at the top of the Indian T20 League 2021 points table. Dhonii’s Team Chennai have recorded victories in 7 matches out of 9 they have played so far, have 14 points in their kitty which is same to that of Delhi but all that also gives Chennai the best Net Run Rate (NRR) of 1.185 in the competition.
While Kolkata have just started making the right moves, it is Team Chennai who have been mastering all of that since the start of IPL this year. Chennai has not only shown form with both bat and a ball — inspired by a change in approach to be aggressive and full of intent — but they have also shown the ability to turn around matches on their head, winning games from improbable situations — something which is their trademark style.
Almost all of the Chennai batsmen are in form. The opening pair of Gaikwad and du Plessis has been piling up a lot of runs, the middle order consisting Ambati Rayudu, Moeen Ali and Suresh Raina has been garnering required runs and Dhonii too has spent some quality time in the middle, which will help him in the upcoming matches. Chennai bowlers have been on the mark, with Bravo and Chahar getting wickets in heaps whereas the likes of Hazlewood and Ravindra Jadeja doing the job of containment.
Kolkata will bank upon the recent form to challenge the authority of the best team in IPL so far, which makes this contest an exciting one to watch. But for the starters, Team Chennai will be expected to continue with their juggernaut and thwart any challenge which Kolkata throw in their way.