It’s getting heated in the desert. While some teams seem to be feeling it, CSK and KKR are revelling in it. For now, these two teams are looking the hungriest in the second phase of the IPL, for different reasons. While CSK are chasing a top-two berth, KKR are suddenly a rejuvenated side after a poor first leg and are pushing to make the playoffs.
New opener Venkatesh Iyer has given KKR the touch of flair at the top that they were lacking till now. But CSK showed on Friday against RCB how good they are at weathering the early storm.
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After going for 100 plus in 10 overs, they fought back and restricted the likes of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Glen Maxwell to 156 in 20 overs.
Such senior pros looked clueless against MS Dhoni’s go-to man at the death, Dwayne Bravo. His slow and wide yorkers and intelligent changes of pace were difficult to deal with. On Sunday, Bravo’s tussle with KKR’s middle order can decide the winner.
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And when you talk of KKR middle-order, it is another West Indian, Andre Russell, who is invariably at the centre of conversation. Russell and Bravo know each other well, playing T20 cricket in different leagues across the world, and the KKR man will know exactly what to expect from his compatriot.
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“I just strive to be competitive. IPL is the toughest competition in the world. Some days it works for me, some days it doesn’t. Variations, yorkers, slower balls, I just try to stick to basics,” Bravo said after his Man of the Match performance on Friday