Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings. Both are in the bottom of the table right now with three losses for each. It is fair to say that both the teams haven’t performed yet as a team.

The clash is at Dubai, where the boundaries are too far from the middle on comparing to other two venues of this IPL edition.

What is more fascinating is the adaptation of the teams to these conditions.

Without much ado, let’s get into predictions for the Match No.18 of IPL 2020: CSK vs KXIP.

Prediction on the top run-scorer.

With the failure of the opening pair of CSK in the last four matches, a bigger responsibility lies on Ambati Rayudu who walks in at No. 3. His half century in the first match guided his troops home against the Mumbai team. As he missed out the next two games, CSK was forced to face a bigger set back in the batting unit and it reflected in the results of CSK. Since the Indian batter came back after solving his hamstring issue, his batting was so expected in their match against Sunrisers Hyderabad. But an unplayable delivery from T Natarajan made Rayudu walk back to the pavilion. After three continuous loses all eyes are upon the batting order of CSK, which can be solved by the batting ability of Ambati Rayudu.

Nicholas Pooran made some heroic shots in the last match but failed to pull his team over the fence. The way he played the left arm spinner Krunal Pandya showed how brutal he can be against the spin bowlers. He isn’t a great batter against the speed that clocks north of 140 kph continuously. As Chennai has no such bowler in their eleven, Nicholas Pooran looks as the best contestant to make more number of runs in this match with the bat.

Prediction on top wicket-taker

Piyush Chawla, being the leg spinner has the opportunity to grab the middle order wickets of Kings XI Punjab. The Dubai ground is bigger with the midwicket and cover regions won’t be the best area to go on top against the spinners, Piyush Chawla might have the best possibilities of grabbing the middle orders of the Punjab team. The only problem will be Nicholas Pooran and Jimmy Neesham for Chawla ast they both are lefties who will get leg spinners towards them. But in the last four games, we saw Chawla being productive against left handers. The way he makes the batsmen to go over top is the key here, David Warner’s wicket in the last match is a great example of it.

Mohammed Shami being Mohammed Shami, is the dangerous thing for CSK to face. Especially the middle order batters when facing the Indian speedster during the penultimate overs would improve the possibility for Shami to grab more wickets. And also the new ball bowling of Shami with the upright seam position will move in different angles. On the whole, Shami is a favorite of picking most number of wickets in this match.

Prediction on Who will win the match?

CSK was playing with the correct combinations in the last match. It gave them a better balance with both bat and the ball. Playing with six bowlers helped MSD to have more options when SRH batters went hard in the death overs.

Batting wise, CSK is again feeling the heat while Shane Watson is not performing at the top of the order. The pressure lies on the other two top orders now Faf Du Plessis and Ambati Rayudu. Kedar Jadhav is yet to do some meaningful performance for the yellow team. Ravindra Jadeja made a match winning knock in the last match while Dhoni has got a little of his divine touch back. While in KXIP, the batters are performing with more responsibility. Especially the top two KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. Other than that Nicholas Pooran has made a decent knock in the last match but that wasn’t enough for the Punjab team to win that match. Except these three, no other batsmen in Punjab looks so good at present.

Speaking of the bowling department, both the teams are missing some stunning execution from their bowlers.It’s Mohammed Shami doing the bowling job for Punjab and except Deepak Chahar there is no bowler in CSK to make some bigger impacts for their side.

Even though both teams lack turbo charge from their performers, as a team CSK looks balanced and they haveĀ  all the ability to win this game.

Prediction on the most six-hitting batter:

Nicholas Pooran is a great player of the left arm spin. Speed isn’t a bigger problem unless it clocks above 140 kphs. Since CSK is not possessing the trouble making off spin for the left hander, Nicholas Pooran will find it much easier ro go against the Chennai bowlers.

His on side shots are mind- blowing with natural bat swings, while his straight and off side lofted drives of this West Indian keeper are crafted to perfection. With Piyush Chawla and Ravindra Jadeja, are the only two spinners for CSK, this match is definitely going to reveal the six hitting talent of Nicholas Pooran.

Apart from that MS Dhoni seems to get back his touch. The leg spinners of Punjab are inexperienced and that might help the former Indian skipper to hit more sixes. Except Mohammed Shami, no other fast bowlers are going to make Dhoni to mishit it seems. That makes Dhoni as another favorite to hit more number of sixes in this match.

Prediction on Man of the match

Ambati Rayudu with his urge to prove a point, might get in high octane action. Since batting at No. 3 he is provided with more opportunity to face most number of balls in an innings. His wide range of shots and match winning ability makes him the best option to go for picking the man of the match award for this match.

Again, Nicholas Pooran who can hit more sixes can also be the candidate for grabbing the man of the match award. Not only his batting, but he can also make unimaginable stops with his priceless fielding

To sum up

Both the teams which have tasted success only once in this tournament are facing with eagerness to change the scenario for themselves. Even though KXIP has a strong top order, their bowling is not so impressive to outwin CSK. On the whole, it’s going to be CSK’s game.