The cricket carnival that started on April 7 is now reaching its next level after 55 games. The group stage is finally reaching its conclusion and the knockouts are here. CSK are placed at the second spot in the points table standings while KXIP are placed at the seventh spot and both the teams have very different requirements from the results of today's match.
While CSK will expect to gain some momentum from this win and get to the next stage with a positive approach and confidence. Things are quite complex for the Kings XI Punjab and even a win may or may not steer them to the next stage of the IPL.
Chennai Super Kings are through to the playoffs and need to lose by 76+ runs or with over 50 balls to spare if they are to not finish in second place and play SRH in the qualifier. As the final game of the group stage, CSK's equation is simple, win and they not only secure a top two spot but also probably top spot.
Shane Watson and MS Dhoni have been the other two players who have been amongst the runs this season and they will want to continue that into the playoffs. One player, who will definitely look to improve his form, it will be Suresh Raina.
Irrespective of what happens in the first game on Sunday, KXIP only has themselves to blame if they don't go through to the playoffs, especially after the start that they had. KL Rahul has had the Orange Cap for much of the season and Andrew Tye is the current owner of the Purple Cap.
Chris Gayle's form has also been a matter of concern for KXIP, although he started great and hit a lot of runs but has been struggling for most of the season.
Chennai Super Kings
MS Dhoni (C) (W), KM Asif Sam Billings Chaitanya Bishnoi Dwayne Bravo Deepak Chahar Faf du Plessis Harbhajan Singh Imran Tahir Ravindra Jadeja Kedar Jadhav Narayan Jagadeesan Kshitiz Sharma Monu Kumar Lungi Ngidi Suresh Raina Ambati Rayudu Mitchell Santner Kanishk Seth Karn Sharma Dhruv Shorey Shardul Thakur Murali Vijay Shane Watson David Willey Mark Wood
Kings XI Punjab
Ravichandran Ashwin (C), Akshdeep Nath Mayank Agarwal Mayank Dagar Ben Dwarshuis Aaron Finch Chris Gayle Manzoor Dar David Miller Mujeeb Ur Rahman Karun Nair Axar Patel Lokesh Rahul (W) Ankit Rajpoot Pradeep Sahu Mohit Sharma Barinder Sran Marcus Stoinis Manoj Tiwary Andrew Tye Yuvraj Singh