We’ve now reached the halfway point in the IPL 2023 season, as seven out of the 14 games have now been played. Only two teams (Mumbai Indians and Gujarat Titans) are sitting at six games played, but they faced off on March 25th. Match #33 featured the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). The Knight Riders are in a bit of a free fall now at 2-4, whereas a CSK win would take Chennai to the top of the leaderboard. Do KKR arrest their flow of losses or will CSK continue to boss them around? Let’s find out! Links to my entire series will be provided below as always.
Photo Cred: The Indian Express
Match Information and Result
Date– April 23rd, 2023.
Stadium– Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
Photo Cred: Housing
Result– CSK won by 49 runs.
Scores– First innings: CSK 235/4 (20). Second innings: KKR 186/8 (20).
Photo Cred: Scroll.in (Rahane)
- RHB: Right-Hand Bat
- LHB: Left-Hand Bat
Pre-Match Playing XIs, Substitutes, and Impact Players
Chennai Super Kings
- Ruturaj Gaikwad RHB, OB
- Devon Conway (Overseas- represents New Zealand, born in South Africa) LHB, RAM
- Ajinkya Rahane RHB, RAM
- Moeen Ali (Overseas- England) LHB, OB
- Shivam Dube LHB, RAM
- Ambati Rayudu RHB, OB
- Ravindra Jadeja LHB, SLA
- MS Dhoni (Captain) (Wicket-keeper) RHB, RAM
- Tushar Deshpande LHB, RAM
- Matheesha Pathirana (Overseas- Sri Lanka) RHB, RAFM
- Maheesh Theekshana (Overseas- Sri Lanka) RHB, OB
- Akash Singh RHB, LAMF
- Dwaine Pretorius (Overseas- South Africa) RHB, RAMF
- Shaik Rasheed RHB, LB
- Rajvardhan Hangargekar RHB, RAFM
- Subhranshu Senapati RHB, RAM
Impact Player selection– Akash Singh: Replaced Ambati Rayudu, bowled four overs.
Photo Creds: (L) NDTV Sports (Dhoni), (R) The Cricket Lounge: Author- Unnati Madan
Kolkata Knight Riders
- N Jagadeesan (Wicket-keeper) RHB
- Jason Roy (Overseas- represents England, born in South Africa) RHB
- Nitish Rana (Captain) LHB, RAM & OB
- Andre Russell (Overseas- West Indies/Jamaica) RHB, RAF
- Rinku Singh LHB, OB
- Sunil Narine (Overseas- West Indies/Trinidad and Tobago) LHB, OB
- David Wiese (Overseas- represents Namibia, born in and previously represented South Africa) RHB, RAMF
- Kulwant Khejroliya LHB, LAMF
- Suyash Sharma RHB, LB
- Umesh Yadav RHB, RAF
- Varun Chakravarthy RHB, LBG
- Anukul Roy LHB, SLA
- Vaibhav Arora RHB, RAFM
- Venkatesh Iyer LHB, RAM
- Mandeep Singh RHB, RAM
- Litton Das (Overseas- Bangladesh) (Wicket-keeper) RHB, OB
Impact Player selection– Venkatesh Iyer: Replaced Suyash Sharma, batted at no. 3.
Photo Cred: Prokerala (L- Roy, R- Rinku)
Absolute Carnage- No Holds Barred
KKR just finds new ways to make me unhappy and worry me. Just three games ago, we gave up the most runs scored (228) this IPL season to the Sunrisers Hyderabad. This time, we gave up seven runs more to set a new record… The trend of opposition batters collectively scoring at a high strike rate (SR) against our bowlers continued, even reaching new heights in this game. Six batters came to the crease and five of them had at least 140 SR. Three of them went above 200 SR! A 200 SR means they were hitting at least two runs per ball they faced…
Photo Cred: Hindustan Times (L- Rahane, R- Dube)
A loss of wickets did not slow down or deter new CSK batters. It’s almost as if they were mandated to go big from ball one. The openers, Gaikwad and Conway, put up a 73-run stand, but that wasn’t even the highest run stand of the game. After Gaikwad fell in the eighth over, Conway didn’t let up and got his fourth consecutive 50 on the trot! It was after Conway got out when CSK hit the second gear! Rahane and Dube combined for an 85-run partnership off just 32 balls! After Rahane hit a 24-ball 51, Dube said anything you can do, I can do better. He got his 50 in just 20 balls!
They’re Not Done Yet!
Dube would get out the next ball after scoring his 50, but that’s not the end of the CSK innings. ‘Sir’ Ravindra Jadeja would have an eight-ball cameo for 18 runs (2 6s, 225 SR) but he’d also get out. His wicket would mean a cameo for Super Kings captain and all-around cricket legend, MS Dhoni, to come to the crease. This is also may be his last go-around in the IPL, as there are talks of him retiring after this season. That’s why it was a special moment for all the fans at Eden Gardens to watch this icon play one last time at this iconic ground as well.
Photo Cred: The Hindu (L- Jadeja, R- Dhoni)
Dhoni would finish with just two runs in three balls. Meanwhile, in the middle of all this, was Rahane. He only faced five more deliveries, yet he maximized the heck out of them! He ended his innings with 71 runs off 29 balls (6 4s, 5 6s, 244.82 SR)! That’s 20 whole runs added by one man! No wonder he was named the PotM!
Well, at Least They Tried Their Best…
There was nothing to really cheer about in the second innings. The opening partnership was a mess (again), key players got out in key moments, and, oh yeah, we were chasing 236 runs in 20 overs! Still, every game has positives and negatives, and the positives in this one were Jason Roy (26-ball 61, 5 4s, 5 6s, 234.61 SR) and Rinku Singh (33-ball 53, 3 4s, 4 6s, 160.60 SR).
Photo Cred: Kolkata Knight Riders (L- Rinku, R- Roy)
Roy’s form with the bat gives me hope that he can solidify our opening woes, but he could even come in as a middle-order batter if absolutely needed. Rinku getting his second IPL 50 was also a special moment for this young fellow. He has saved us on more than one occasion, and we will continually need him to fire if we want to stand a chance in this cutthroat league.
The Positives and the Negatives
Kolkata Knight Riders
- Jason Roy. Due to a reaggravation of his calf injury, he wasn’t able to come in as an opener and had to bat at no. 5 instead. He started off his innings with a flurry of 6s and ended it with a 61. Good to see him firing, we’ll need him up top when he can open again. Hopefully, his firepower can be emulated/replicated by his opening partner, whoever that will end up being.
- Rinku Singh is back. Well, it’s not like he was struggling or anything but he was unable to fire in the last two games (18-ball 18, 8-ball 6). We’ve needed to depend on this 25-year-old so much that anything short of 30-40 runs from him is a “failure to fire”, however harsh it may be to say that. The fact of the matter is he has been one of our most consistent batters this season, so we are going to be dependent on his contributions no matter what.
- Suyash Sharma. This young fellow, who’s not even 20 years old yet, is not only the find of the IPL but a super special bowler! While his teammates all had economy rates (econ) north of 11, he managed to stay low at a cool 7.25 himself! He managed to take one of four KKR wickets this game against a tough opposition. Protect him at all costs!
- Extras. We only gave up three extras, of which two were wides and only one was a no-ball. Even the free hit did not result in a run, so the mission was accomplished.
- Honorable Mentions: Nitish Rana (20-ball 27, 4 4s, 1 6, 135 SR) and Venkatesh Iyer (20-ball 20, 2 4s, 1 6, 100 SR). They added a 45-run partnership together early in the game.
Photo Cred: BJ Sports (Suyash)
- Jason Roy’s health… One area he needs to improve upon is his fitness. There were just too many occasions where we fans were left wondering if he could continue on with his fielding and batting. This is where a mandatory medical of replacement players idea by Sunil Gavaskar is something that could’ve benefited KKR. Due to his injury history, and the fact that we paid him more than his base price, he needs to be in full health. If he keeps getting injured, then there can be concerns that it was not money well spent.
- Terrible bowling attack. Other than Russell’s one over (mentioned further below), three bowlers ended up with econs upwards of 12 runs an over… With that being said, two bowlers (other than Suyash) were able to stay under the run rate while bowling, so they (Umesh and Narine) are honorable mentions as pros.
- Opening partnership failure. Narine was brought up to open due to Roy being unavailable. He did not trouble Chennai, as he departed with a three-ball duck. Jagadeesan, on the other hand, at least added one run but also got out in three balls.
- Kulwant Khejroliya. I have to give a special mention to him again for having the highest economy rate among our bowlers (14.66). Rana trusted him with the final over of the game yet again, for some reason. Also, what’s his deal with bowling no-balls in the 20th over? This is his second game in a row with that problem! This time, he bowled a waist-high no-ball instead of overstepping.
- Some way, somehow he was out leading wicket-taker, however. He took the key wickets of Dube and Jadeja, not that it ultimately mattered much in the end.
- Andre Russell. He bowled a 17-run over in his only time bowling. I just think that, if we need to use a sixth or seventh bowling option, why not use Iyer? Better yet, why not just bowl Rana again?! That experiment worked once, so just keep using him until it doesn’t work out. He should just not bowl anymore.
- As a batter, he may have added nine runs in six balls but he had to hit a six to get there. One or two sixes inflate his score up, which doesn’t necessarily mean he batted well.
- Chakravarthy batting ahead of Khejroliya. The KKR management should compare the batting stats of these two on Cricinfo and then get back to me as to why they continue to send Chakravarthy to bat ahead of Khejroliya. What’s the worst that can happen with Khejroliya batting? He gets out the first ball? At least he wouldn’t waste as much time, compared to a 6-ball 1 and 3-ball 0 not out (n.o.). Why not just try him out, if you continue to play him? At least he can contribute positively in some way…
- Honorable mention: Little-to-no contributions from the lower order. I mean, no cricket team relies on their lower orders to extensively provide runs, which is why I labeled them as honorable mentions just because I still wanted to mention this. Four batters combined for 14 runs facing 15 balls.
Photo Cred: Sporting News
Chennai Super Kings
- Great batting. There has to obviously be great batting in order to post a 200+ total. These 235 runs were the most hit at Eden Gardens… I already mentioned Rahane and Jadeja specifically, so let’s look at how the others did.
- Gaikwad: 35(20), 2 4s, 4 6s, 175 SR
- Conway: 56(40), 4 4s, 3 6s, 140 SR
- Dube: 50(21), 2 4s, 5 6s, 238.09 SR
- “Dhoni Review System”. Dhoni reviewed two umpiring decisions that eventually got overturned, once while he was batting and once while he was fielding. A statistic was shown in the match that CSK has successfully converted 85.71% of reviews this season. The Decision Review System/DRS has now successfully become the “Dhoni Review System” indeed!
- Good bowling.
Photo Cred: Republic World Photo Cred: Social News XYZ
- Moeen Ali. Kind of harsh to put him here, I will say that. He wasn’t asked to bat in this game and only bowled a solitary over. In that over, he was whacked for 20 runs, including three sixes, though!
- 10 extras bowled. There were nine wides and one leg bye. Sure, it’s not ultimately much but: 1. I have to nitpick somewhere in a game with almost no CSK cons and 2. 10 or more extras will almost always be a con no matter the situation. Why should a bowling attack concede 10+ extra runs? Those can change the course of a game, though it didn’t matter in this one.
- Honorable Mentions:
- Dhoni. Blasphemy! How dare you call him “a legend” and then put him in the cons section? Well, he did only add two runs with three balls faced. Have to nitpick somewhere, right? Hahaha…! At least he got the opportunity to face a free hit because he reviewed a waist-high no-ball. Too bad it went for 0.
- Jadeja and Deshpande. Technically speaking, they did not bowl well. They had econs of 11.33 and 10.75 respectively. However, ‘Jaddu‘ picked up the key wicket of Knight Riders captain Rana, while Deshpande picked up two easy wickets as well.
Photo Cred: CricketAddictor
The Links to My KKR Preview & Review Series
- My Thoughts on the Kolkata Knight Riders for the IPL 2023 season (also includes the condensed preview of KKR vs. PBKS)
- IPL 2023 Match 2 Condensed Review- KKR vs. PBKS
- IPL 2023 Match 9 Condensed KKR Preview
- IPL 2023 Match 9 Condensed Review- KKR vs. RCB
- IPL 2023 Match 13 Condensed KKR Preview
- IPL 2023 Match 13 Condensed Review- KKR vs. GT
- IPL 2023 Match 19 Condensed KKR Preview
- IPL 2023 Match 19 Condensed Review- KKR vs. SRH
- IPL 2023 Match 22 Condensed KKR Preview
- IPL 2023 Match 22 Condensed Review- KKR vs. MI
- IPL 2023 Match 28 Condensed KKR Preview
- IPL 2023 Match 28 Condensed Review- KKR vs. DC
- IPL 2023 Match 33 Condensed KKR Preview