Kings XI Punjab v Chennai Super Kings: Run totals set to fall at Dubai

Kings XI Punjab cricketer Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell could be due for an explosive innings

Chennai are IPL royalty but in danger of missing the play-offs for the first time. Paul Krishnamurty does not fancy their chances and prefers Punjab today...

"Sheldon Cotterrell and Mohammed Shami should be very effective if the pitch plays similarly to Friday."

Place order to back Kings XI Punjab 2u @ 7/42.7

Kings XI Punjab v Chennai Super Kings
Sunday, 15:00 GMT
Live on Sky Sports Cricket

Win a matter of urgency for bottom pair

Only four games into their IPL campaign, this match is almost a must-win for these sides, who currently share bottom place on two points. Defeat would leave them needing seven wins from nine remaining matches to reach the play-offs.

Not an unusual position for Kings XI, but these perennial strugglers haven't played so badly. Those three losses include a Super Over and failing to defend 223.

In contrast, Chennai's position is a shock. In ten IPL appearances, they've never missed the play-offs and only twice finished worse than second.

It is early to be writing off teams, but I don't fancy either turning it around. Punjab's lack of high-class spinners has already been costly and will become more so as the tournament develops. Mujeem Ur Rahman must get a game soon.

Overseas selection a headache for CSK

Selection is a bigger problem for Chennai, who have six valuable overseas bowlers. Josh Hazlewood, Imran Tahir and Lungi Ngidi are all top-grade plus all-rounders Dwayne Bravo, Sam Curran and Mitchell Santner.

Given Faf Du Plessis is a cert, only three at most can get in, and that involves replacing Shane Watson at the top with Murali Vijay. The Aussie has only 52 runs from four matches so change may be due.

Totals starting to come down

The lowest first innings total so far this season is 142. That will fall and probably very soon. There was plenty of swing available with the new ball in the last match at Dubai and par fell below that after early wickets.

164 proved an excellent first innings total and I think that will be the case from now. Backing under 160 in that match didn't quite pay off due to a good finish but I'm happy to follow the same plan. Lay 160 and 150 plus 1st Innings Runs bands.

All seven matches this season here have gone to the team batting first so there's an obvious advantage, but I wouldn't assume it will persist if scores indeed come down.

Kings XI slightly preferred

Considering the gulf between their overall records, Kings XI have a decent record against CSK. They trail 10-12 in IPL, and have shared the last 20.

Whilst there's little value in the outright odds pre-toss, I marginally prefer the outsiders. Sheldon Cotterrell and Mohammed Shami should be very effective if the pitch plays similarly to Friday.

Their batting is strong, boasting the top-two tournament runscorers Lokesh Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. Given how well hitters have been going at the depth, expect big efforts to come from Glenn Maxwell and Nicholas Pooran.

Let's have another try at my '25% rule' - place an order to back Kings XI at 7/42.7.

In that last Dubai match, the top-two scorers on each side batted at five and six. That makes 2/1 about the respective favourites, Du Plessis and Rahul, very unappealing.

No particular alternative really stands out so instead I'll play the Top Wicket Taker markets. Take 10/3 about Cotterrell and 4/1 about Hazlewood, in the hope he plays. The Aussie was very impressive in his sole match.


Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty

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Indian Premier League: Indian Premier League (Winner)

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