Chennai Super Kings bring in Lungi Ngidi for Dwayne Bravo

Kolkata Knight Riders chose to bowl vs Chennai Super Kings

Eoin Morgan won the toss and chose to bowl first at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, a venue where chasing teams have had much more success than they have had in Chennai, where the Knight Riders played their first three matches.

Both teams made changes in keeping with the ground being relatively more favourable to pacers. The Knight Riders drafted in Sunil Narine and Kamlesh Nagarkoti, both for their first games of IPL 2021. They will take the places of Shakib Al Hasan and Harbhajan Singh. The Super Kings brought in Lungi Ngidi for Dwayne Bravo.

After a couple of games in the middle where the Wankhede surface offered something to the bowlers, it seems to have reverted to type and become more favourable to batsmen. There has also been a lot of dew around, particularly in the second innings, which has made life tougher for the bowlers, which was factored into Morgan’s decision to bowl.

“On this ground, this [chasing] seems the fashion and hopefully change of ground brings a change of fortune,” Morgan said. “It’s normally a really good wicket and Chennai are obviously a strong team. Hopefully, looking for a performance tonight and looking for a fresh mindset. In hindsight, chasing in Chennai hasn’t suited us. In this ground, chasing has been productive. We’re hoping to build on to the start of our campaign.”

MS Dhoni said that his batsmen would gauge how the pitch was in the initial overs before deciding on a target.

“Looks similar, a bit tacky,” Dhoni said of the pitch. “We have to be watchful for the first few overs, see how the wicket behaves and accordingly put something up. We’ll have to keep our eyes open as to how much dew there is and according to that see what is the best suitable length. If you get too much dew, then the lengths are different. If it’s turning with a wet ball, it means the chances of a drier ball turning are more.”

Both teams have played three games each. The Super Kings are currently third on the table with two wins, the same as the Mumbai Indians but with a higher net run-rate. The Knight Riders are sixth, with just one win.

Kolkata Knight Riders 1 Nitish Rana, 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Rahul Tripathi, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 6 Andre Russell, 7 Sunil Narine, 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Kamlesh Nagarkoti, 10 Varun Chakravarthy, 11 Prasidh Krishna

Chennai Super Kings 1 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 2 Faf du Plessis, 3 Moeen Ali, 4 Suresh Raina, 5 Ambati Rayudu, 6 Ravindra Jadeja, 7 MS Dhoni (capt, wk), 8 Sam Curran, 9 Shardul Thakur, 10 Deepak Chahar, 11 Lungi Ngidi

Saurabh Somani is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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