IPL 2014 Preview: Chennai face Kolkata in first match in India

CSK and KKR will be facing each other Friday evening and that will also mark the beginning of the Indian leg of the 7th edition of the IPL. While CSK is enjoying a good run after the initial defeat at the hands of KXIP, KKR on the other hand have managed to lose some very close games. CSK will go in the game as favorites by a small margin, but this is cricket and you never know when there is a turn in events.

Chennai Super Kings:

X factor: Chennai Super Kings is a very good all round team. Their batting and bowling departments have stood up together and have maintained the momentum winning 4 games in a row after the loss in the first game. It’s their capability to respond to a particular situation like a team and the cool and calm head of their captain that will prove to be the X factor in their favor.

Watch out for: Dwayne Smith, MS Dhoni

Dwayne Smith has been in good form since the very first game this year. He is the second highest run getter this season and is also useful with the ball filling in the shoes of Dwayne bravo whenever his captain requires him. MS Dhoni on the other hand will be playing in front of his home crowd. That itself will be a good enough reason to look forward to his performance. Although the Knight Riders are billed as the home team here, they might just end up playing the role of away team given the popularity of the local boy.

Weak point: Nothing really seems to worry the Super Kings right now; the only problem that can probably arise here is the fact that the middle order hasn’t really got the chance to shine so far in the tournament. The bulk of the scoring has been done by the openers, so how much the middle order is in form will be a question mark.

Kolkata Knight Riders:

X Factor: It’s not news now that the Knight Riders are completely dependent on their bowling to reprieve them of difficult situations. The lineup which consists of Sunil Narine, Morne Morkel, Vinay Kumar, and Shakib Al Hasan has troubled even the best of the batting lineups in the tournament.

Watch out for: Surya Kumar Yadav, Manish Pandey.

Two young Indian batsmen and both of them have arguably been the stars of the batting lineup that has failed to impress, considering the amount of internationals they have in their squad. Surya has played the role of a finisher and has looked very dangerous; While Pandey has strengthened and took responsibility of a failed batting lineup at the top.

Weak Point: The big names have failed to perform in the batting department. Gambhir did show signs of form in the last game but considering his inconsistency you’ll have to wait and watch in his case. Also this was supposed to be a home game for them but by default they will be the team who will be in an alien condition considering it is MS Dhoni’s home city.