IPL 2023 Match 33 Condensed KKR Preview

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Photo Cred: Times of India

Oh man… Where do we go from here? After a 2-1 start to the season, we’ve lost three games straight. That’s not exactly what I want to see as a fan. In the last match, Delhi Capitals (DC) fans waved banners of “we still believe” in support of their local team. Do I still believe in my Kolkata Knight Riders, though, is the question… Food for thought as the Knight Riders will face a dominant Chennai Super Kings (CSK). This is Match #33 in the IPL 2023 season, so here’s my preview of this game. I can only hope for something good to come out of this, but I am unsettled by the opposition. Not exactly the best team for us to be facing if we want to win… CSK holds a 17-9 advantage in the head-to-head matchup, although we do have the most recent win.

KKR vs CSK Head-To-Head: Who leads the IPL head-to-head rivalry between Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings in IPL?

Photo Cred: InsideSport.IN

KKR now sits at eighth place with a 2-4 record. However, due to a +0.214 NRR, we are in control of our own destiny. We could get out of the woods with a win because two of the three teams ahead of us (Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians (MI)) all have a negative NRR. Even now, we have a higher NRR than two four-win teams: Gujarat Titans (GT) (+0.212, fourth place) and Punjab Kings (-0.162, fifth place)! After a loss against GT to start the season, CSK (+0.355) has gone 4-1 and sits in third place in the standings. As always with the pregame previews, here’s what you can expect: ideal playing XIs, any pre-match news/updates, and a little information on the opponents (like what to watch out for). Links to my entire preview and review series will be provided below.

Pre-match News & Updates

  1. Three Chennai players remain injured and are not expected to feature in the game: Ben Stokes (toe), Sisanda Magala (split hand webbing), and Deepak Chahar (hamstring).
  2. MS Dhoni will have a tough time running in between the wickets due to his knee injury, but he is still expected to play all the games.
  3. Jason Roy (calf) did not take the field in the second innings, being replaced by David Wiese as the substitute fielder. He had been struggling running between the wickets a bit. Let’s hope he remains healthy enough to play against CSK.

IPL 2023: When will injured Stokes, Chahar and Magala return to CSK playing XI? Stephen Fleming's

Photo Cred: Sports Tak (L- Chahar, M- Stokes, R- Magala)

My Notes/Research & Statistics

I’m going to try something new here. Because of our lack of actual solid depth, I have exhausted many possibilities of impact subs. In my research, I can conclude that the only player I would try as much as possible to not bring onto my playing XIIs would be Harshit Rana. He may have the potential to do something great, but I don’t see it. If we want to still go for wins, we should be picking our best XIs/XIIs. If we want to develop young talent and wins don’t matter, play Harshit all you want.

KKR Prediction For IPL 2023: Probable XI, Squad List, Injury Updates And IPL Team News | Kolkata Knight Riders

Photo Cred: Wisden

Due to the way our season has gone, there isn’t a single player who has had a faultless season so far. Everyone has one flaw or another, however major or minor. What I can reasonably conclude, six games into the season, will be listed below:

  1. The captain isn’t going anywhere. Nitish Rana has performed well enough, especially as a captain, that he will stick around no matter what. The overall stats further illustrate the point. Now that he can bowl, there is an added reason to keep faith in him.
    • Stats: 154 runs, 25.67 ave, 141.28 SR, highest score (HS)- 75, 13 4s, 10 6s.
  2. We need spinners to win games. How many, though? It seems like three was the reasonable answer, until the DC game. Now, maybe Rana has to bowl more often, so we might need to play three spinners + Rana. Which three do we now bring in?
  3. Based on this, Chakravarthy definitely needs to play all games. However, can any one of Suyash, Narine, and Anukul be reasonably left out? Narine and Anukul have the added factor of being good with the bat, usually. They average about 15-16 runs in T20s but also have SRs of 147.18 and 138.98 respectively.
  4. Now, we come to the batting.
    1. Openers (nos. 1-2) used- Six: Jason Roy, Litton Das, Mandeep Singh, Narayan Jagadeesan, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Venkatesh Iyer.
      1. Roy– 43 runs, 43.00 ave, 110.26 SR, 5 4s, 1 6.
      2. Das– Four runs, 4.00 ave, 100 SR, 1 4.
      3. MandeepTwo runs, 50 SR.
      4. Jagadeesan– 42 runs, 14.00 ave, 123.53 SR, 6 4s, 1 6.
      5. Gurbaz– 102 runs, 20.40 ave, 117.24 SR, 10 4s, 5 6s.
      6. IyerThree runs, 42.85 SR.
    2. Middle-order (nos. 3-6):
      1. Anukul: Four runs, 80.00 SR, 1 4.
      2. Iyer: 231 runs.
        • Combined stats: 234 runs, 39.00 ave, 168.35 SR, 1 100, 1 50, 19 4s, 15 6s.
      3. Rana (mentioned previously)
      4. Rinku Singh: 122 runs.
      5. Mandeep: 12 runs.
        • Combined stats: 14 runs, 4.67 ave, 87.50 SR, 1 6.
      6. Andre Russell: Four runs.
      7. Narine: 0 runs, 0.00 SR.
      8. Shardul Thakur13 runs, 118.18 SR, 1 4.
    3. Lower-order (nos. 7-11):
      1. Russell: 94 runs.
        • Combined stats: 98 runs, 24.50 ave, 140 SR, 7 4s, 7 6s.
      2. Thakur: 88 runs.
        • Combined stats: 101 runs, 25.25 ave, 198.04 SR, 12 4s, 4 6s.
      3. Narine: 13 runs.
        • Combined stats: 13 runs, 4.33 ave, 100 SR, 1 4, 1 6.
      4. Umesh Yadav: 15 runs, 15.00 ave, 107.14 SR, 1 4.
      5. Rinku: 58 runs, 187.09 SR, 4 4s, 4 6s.
        • Combined stats: 180 runs, 45.00 ave, 156.52 SR, 10 4s, 13 6s.
      6. Anukul: 0 runs, 0.00 SR.
        • Combined stats: Four runs, 2.00 ave, 66.67 SR, 1 4.
      7. Chakravarthy: One run, 1.00 ave, 16.66 SR.
  5. Based on these stats, Iyer and Rinku also have to stay with the team. Russell has functioned better in the lower order, so we need to introduce him at no. 7 at the earliest. Thakur has had a lot of runs with us so far, but his bowling doesn’t justify him being picked… Likewise, Narine may have good bowling stats but his batting does not do him justice this season. To me, Gurbaz and Roy make the best opening combination for now.
  6. I’m going to take a closer look at just our wicket-keepers. We have three on our roster: Gurbaz, Jagadeesan, and Das. Gurbaz has not had any sort of fielding errors, even taking four catches. Das is the only other person to have kept wickets for us so far, but he made two key errors (missed stumpings) that could’ve changed the game. For that reason alone, I would go back to Gurbaz.
  7. Lastly, it’s time to look at the seamers.
    1. Russell: Three wickets, 17.00 ave, 12.24 econ.
    2. Kulwant Khejroliya: 0 wickets, 15.00 econ.
    3. Lockie Ferguson: One wicket, 96.00 ave, 12.52 econ.
    4. Thakur: Two wickets, 68.50 ave, 11.58 econ.
    5. Tim Southee: Two wickets, 39.50 ave, 13.17 econ.
    6. Umesh: One wicket, 135.00 ave, 9.00 econ.
  8. Russell may have taken the most wickets of this group but Umesh still has the best econ. Due to this, I will keep Umesh for sure.
  9. Based on all these stats, it will be hard to give Khejroliya, Southee, and Ferguson more looks as bowlers. Batting-wise, I could give Das a chance, but he would have to be an outfield player not the keeper. We could try to give Jagadeesan a chance as a middle-order batter. Mandeep loses any more chances to play for me.
  10. That leaves just three more names who haven’t been mentioned yet: Aarya Desai, David Wiese, and Vaibhav Arora.
    1. I could see Desai used an opener if needed. I would not mind handing him a debut because we’ve seen the success with Suyash.
    2. As for Arora, he is next in line for a season debut as another Indian seam-bowling option. Since we have little-to-no success with this group, I can see Arora getting a shot.
    3. Ditto for Wiese, except he’d be an overseas seam bowler.

KKR vs SRH IPL 2023: Kolkata Knight Riders eye hat-trick of wins as they host Sunrisers Hyderabad | Cricket News - Times of India

Photo Cred: Times of India

My Predicted KKR Playing XIs & Final Reasoning

Bat-First
  1. Rahmanullah Gurbaz (Overseas- Afghanistan) (Wicket-keeper)
  2. Jason Roy (Overseas- represents England, born in South Africa)
  3. Nitish Rana (Captain)
  4. Venkatesh Iyer
  5. Rinku Singh
  6. Sunil Narine (Overseas- West Indies/Trinidad & Tobago)
  7. Andre Russell (Overseas- West Indies/Jamaica)
  8. Shardul Thakur
  9. Umesh Yadav
  10. Varun Chakravarthy
  11. Suyash Sharma
  12. Impact Player– Vaibhav Arora

Watch: KKR Youngster Vaibhav Arora Reveals Dale Steyn Was His First Instagram DP

Photo Cred: News18 (Arora)

Bowl-First
  1. Rahmanullah Gurbaz (Overseas- Afghanistan) (Wicket-keeper)
  2. Jason Roy (Overseas- represents England, born in South Africa)
  3. Nitish Rana (Captain)
  4. Venkatesh Iyer
  5. Rinku Singh
  6. David Wiese (Overseas- represents Namibia, born in and formerly represented South Africa)
  7. Andre Russell (Overseas- West Indies/Jamaica)
  8. Anukul Roy
  9. Umesh Yadav
  10. Varun Chakravarthy
  11. Suyash Sharma
  12. Impact Player– Narayan Jagadeesan/Aarya Desai

Photo Creds: (L) MoneyBall (Anukul), (R) SakshiPost (Desai)

Final Reasoning

  1. For me, these players have guaranteed their spots: Gurbaz, Roy, Rana, Iyer, Rinku, Russell, Umesh, and Chakravarthy.
  2. Gurbaz is the best wicket-keeper on our team at the moment, unless we want to try out Jagadeesan. However, Gurbaz has better batting stats, so I’d rather play him.
  3. Roy may have only played one game but he’s already done more than everyone else we’ve tried out has.
  4. Rana is the captain, so it’s hard to drop him. I want Iyer for another purpose: to use him as a bowler. His last three bowling outings for Madhya Pradesh haven’t gone well, but I want to still keep the faith in him. He has a 7.41 T20 econ and 23.14 ave, which are good numbers.
  5. Rinku is one of our best middle-order batters, so he has to stay. As for Russell, Thakur has been a better batter and a more economical bowler this season. However, Russell has a wicket-taking ability and pure power to hit sixes on a whim, so he gets in ahead of Thakur. Russell will always slot in at no. 7 in either XI.
  6. Umesh is our best seamer and Chakravarthy is our best spinner.
  7. To fill out the last remaining spots, I have these decisions to make: which two spinners (Narine vs. Anukul vs. Suyash) and the last seam spot (Arora vs. Thakur vs. Wiese).
  8. If Narine doesn’t make the playing XI, Wiese would take the last seam spot. If Narine plays, then the last two spots would have to be two Indians.
  9. Bat-first XI decision: A bat-first XI would need to have a solid batting lineup. In that case, Narine stays because I would want to get his wicket out of the way immediately. He’d be the only player on either playing XI whose wicket doesn’t matter, in which case he could come as an opener or early in the batting innings. I would want him to bat as quickly as possible because we can then save our better batters for later.
    • Thakur also makes it back into the side because of his superb batting stats this year.
    • Suyash has the wickets and multiple games under his belt, so I want him to slot back into the roster full-time for both XIs.
    • My Impact Player selection is Arora because we will need some extra help with the bowling, and I am willing to test Arora out as another seam option.
  10. Bowl-first XI decision: I decided to pick the better bowlers in this XI, so that’s why I am taking Narine out. Wiese also comes in as the fourth overseas option with Narine out. Anukul also comes in as the third spin option in this XI.
    • My Impact Player selection is between two batters: Jagadeesan and Desai. The reason is simple: if we want an extra opener and move either Gurbaz or Roy down, then Desai is the option. If we want an extra middle-order batter, we should try Jagadeesan.

IPL 2023: KKR spinners Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy and Suyash Sharma create new history during RCB

Photo Cred: Sports Tak (L- Suyash, M- Chakravarthy, R- Narine)

KKR Player Unavailability

  1. Shreyas Iyer: Back surgery, ruled out of the tournament.
  2. Shakib Al Hasan (Overseas- Bangladesh): Opted out of the tournament.

The Opponent- Chennai Super Kings

What/Who to Watch Out For
  1. Great openers! There has yet to be a game where both opening batters failed, and they even stood together for 110-run and 87-run stands. The opening partners in question: Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway.
    1. Gaikwad: 235 runs, 47.00 ave, 144.17 SR, HS- 92, two 50s, 12 4s, 14 6s.
    2. Conway: 258 runs, 51.60 ave, 144.13 SR, HS- 83, three 50s, 29 4s, 9 6s.
  2. Consistency among batters. Despite the two losses, there has only been one game where CSK hasn’t hit 150 runs, and that’s because they were only chasing 135. If they don’t have the runs, they at least have a high average and/or strike rate.
    1. Moeen Ali: 134.55 SR, 8 4s, 3 6s.
    2. Shivam Dube: 134 runs, 26.80 ave, 139.58 SR, HS- 52, 6 4s, 10 6s.
    3. Ajinkya Rahane: 138 runs, 34.50 ave, 181.58 SR, HS- 61, 12 4s, 6 6s.
    4. Ambati Rayudu: 140.68 SR, 7 4s, 4 6s.
    5. MS Dhoni: 59.00 ave, 210.71 SR, HS- 32 not out (n.o.), 2 4s, 6 6s.
    6. Ravindra Jadeja: HS- 25 n.o., 125.81 SR, 3 6s.
  3. Jadeja’s bowling. It seems like he is back into full form as an all-rounder, as he regularly picks up wickets without being too expensive while also contributing with the bat whenever he can.
    • Stats: Nine wickets, 15.78 ave, 6.76 econ.
  4. Tushar Deshpande. He might be very expensive (11.02 econ) but he is one of the leading wicket-takers (10) this year. He ranks seventh in the Purple Cap standings now, which is only three wickets away from #1.
  5. Mitchell Santner. Economy rates from 5.25 to 8.00 make him a very reliable bowler to trust, and he’s even picked up three wickets to go with this. Unfortunately, he hasn’t featured since game #3 for Chennai.
Honorable Mentions
  1. Rajvardhan Hangargekar. The 20-year-old is unfortunate to have to miss out since game 2 for the Super Kings. On season debut, he picked up three wickets against the Lucknow Super Giants at 9.00 econ.
  2. Moeen Ali’s bowling. Overall, he has six wickets (including a four-wicket haul), a 13.00 ave, and an 8.67 econ. His better batting skill (T20- 25.34 ave, 141.83 SR vs. Santner’s 23.41 and 131.02 respectively) slots him ahead of Santner.
  3. Akash Singh. Just like Deshpande, he is expensive (9.20 econ) but he can take wickets (four wickets in three games, including at least one in every game).
  4. The South African duo of Dwaine Pretorius and Sisanda Magala.
    • Pretorius had a 7.00 econ (0/28 in four overs) in the only game he played so far, which is good.
    • Magala has played two games and has an overall econ of 8.50, which is still reasonable. He has also picked up a wicket.
  5. The Sri Lankan duo of Maheesh Theekshana and Matheesha Pathirana.
    • Theekshana continues the trend of expensive CSK bowlers who can still be good wicket-taking options. He owns a 9.17 econ but also has two wickets.
    • Pathirana has only played two games and has a combined econ of 8.00 right now for Chennai. He’s picked up three wickets, so expect him to be a factor in games.

Photo Cred: Sports Tak (L- Gaikwad, R- Conway)           Photo Cred: Afluence (Deshpande)

Any Previous Player/Team History

  1. Only one current Super King is a former KKR player: Ajinkya Rahane. He’s had a long IPL career, having played at least one game from 2008-23 (with the exception of the 2010 season). He’s always been with a team, though.
    • Rahane started off with MI from 2008-10. He would then play for the Rajasthan Royals (RR) from 2011-15 before a two-year stint with the Rising Pune Supergiant (2016-17). He would re-join RR from 2018-19 and then would move to DC in 2020, where he stayed until 2021. Finally, we can get to his KKR and CSK exploits. Rahane played for us last season and got bought in the auction by CSK this season.
  2. On the other hand, three current Knight Riders have played for CSK: Narayan Jagadeesan, Tim Southee, and Shardul Thakur.
    • Jagadeesan- He has only represented the Super Kings and the Knight Riders in his IPL career. He started off with Chennai from 2018-22, teaming up with Thakur during that time. He was bought in the 2023 auction by us.
    • Southee- He played in 2011 for CSK before signing for KKR in 2021, where he’s been since.
    • Thakur- Thakur played for CSK from 2018-21. He joined KKR in 2023 by means of a trade.
  3. With Chakravarthy, there is also the Tamil Nadu connection. He may be born in Karnataka but he’s represented Tamil Nadu since 2018.

Photo Cred: The Hindu (Rahane)                   Photo Cred: Sportzwiki (Thakur)

The Links to My KKR Preview & Review Series

  1. My Thoughts on the Kolkata Knight Riders for the IPL 2023 season (also includes the condensed preview of KKR vs. PBKS)
  2. IPL 2023 Match 2 Condensed Review- KKR vs. PBKS
  3. IPL 2023 Match 9 Condensed KKR Preview
  4. IPL 2023 Match 9 Condensed Review- KKR vs. RCB
  5. IPL 2023 Match 13 Condensed KKR Preview
  6. IPL 2023 Match 13 Condensed Review- KKR vs. GT
  7. IPL 2023 Match 19 Condensed KKR Preview
  8. IPL 2023 Match 19 Condensed Review- KKR vs. SRH
  9. IPL 2023 Match 22 Condensed KKR Preview
  10. IPL 2023 Match 22 Condensed Review- KKR vs. MI
  11. IPL 2023 Match 28 Condensed KKR Preview
  12. IPL 2023 Match 28 Condensed Review- KKR vs. DC

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