Chennai, May 14 (IANS) Chennai Super Kings captain M.S. Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat first against Kolkata Knight Riders in Match No.61 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday.
A win for Chennai will boost their chance of a top-two finish in the points table and become the first team to qualify for the playoffs. It will also seal their return to Chepauk, who will be hosting Qualifier 1 and Eliminator on May 23 and 24.
For Kolkata, who have 10 points from 12 matches, it is a must-win game to keep their Playoffs hopes alive.
After winning the toss, Dhoni said Chennai are fielding an unchanged playing eleven. “We’ve been slightly uncertain about the wicket, and as the tournament has progressed the pitch gets slow.”
“Throughout the years, we have told openers to assess the pitch quickly and find what’s a good score. After 6-8 overs we need to revisit our score because the ball loses its shine. I think we have done really well, but fielding is one department where we need to step up. Can improve 5-10%.”
Kolkata skipper Nitish Rana said pacer Vaibhav Arora comes into the playing eleven for left-arm spin all-rounder Anukul Roy.
“The deck looks sticky, so would have wanted to bat first and get our spinners in play. I think pressure was there in the first game as well, it is there now as well.”
“Such is the IPL, we can’t take it lightly. If any department falters, then 90% of the result goes against you. So we need to be clinical in all departments,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Chennai said the players will do the lap of honour after the end of their last league match at Chepauk. The franchise added that arrangements for fan giveaways as well as the side coming up with special ‘thank you’ cards for the fans will be there to appreciate the support from the crowd in the matches this year.
Chennai Super Kings: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, Shivam Dube, Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Deepak Chahar, Tushar Deshpande, Maheesh Theekshana
Substitutes: Matheesha Pathirana, Nishant Sandhu, Subhranshu Senapati, Shaik Rasheed, Akash Singh
Kolkata Knight Riders: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Jason Roy, Nitish Rana (c), Andre Russell, Rinku Singh, Shardul Thakur, Sunil Narine, Vaibhav Arora, Harshit Rana, Suyash Sharma, Varun Chakaravarthy
Substitutes: Anukul Roy, Narayan Jagadeesan, Umesh Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer, Lockie Ferguson