If online cricket betting is your thing, then this is going to be the IPL preview for you! We’re about to offer you the best IPL betting tips ahead of the opening match of the 2022 IPL season between CSK and KKR.
But there’s also the latest team news, players to look out for, important stats and an assessment of the wicket before it all gets underway. The match starts on Saturday, March 26 at 7.30 pm IST and will take place at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
The injury to Chahar that has left the CSK side a tad unbalanced and the somewhat shock decision from Dhoni to give up the captaincy so close to the start of the tournament haven’t helped CSK’s cause. Nor has the injury to key man Ali.
But still. They’ve not only been traditionally the better side in the IPL as a whole over the years but also have a considerably better head to head record against Kolkata. In fact, much better.
Of course, you could argue that a lot of this doesn’t matter so much anymore after the Mega Auction because teams are virtually unrecognizable from previous seasons.
But the core of the CSK isde is still there (they bought back a further four players in addition to the retained ones) and they just have a knack of operating well as a unit.
At the bigger odds, they’re the pick as our match-winner.
Why not check out our Pure Win review, where we explain why we’re so fond of this Indian-focused betting site.
Our CSK featured player Gaikwad scored four fifties and a century last year across 16 matches. As we said already, he’s since failed to kick on for India but was also excellent in the Ranji Trophy, where he was top scorer by a country mile.
With a full season of IPL under his belt now, he could even better his runs tally from last year. And he can certainly start in style with a fifty here, which is 3.0 with Betway.
Chennai Super Kings are of course the defending champions. And if you cast your minds back to last year, it was KKR that they beat the final, quite comfortably in the end.
With four IPL wins, CSK are the second-most successful side in IPL history, behind only Mumbai, who won it five times.
CSK were good for the whole of the 2021 season, finishing second in the Group Stages, making the final via the Qualifier at the first time of asking and handling the pressure of a big final extremely well.
They batted first, posted a very competitive score and though KKR made a good start in getting runs on the board without losing wickets.
But CSK never conceded too many runs per over and were always ahead of the game in KKR’s chase.
Never write this lot off.
The most important bit of news is that today it was announced that Ravindra Jadeja would take over from MS Dhoni as CSK’s new skipper.
It’s a rather strange move for several reasons.
Firstly because Dhoni has been such a good leader for them over the years and partly earns his corn by being in charge. Why give it up now and worse still, on the eve of the start of the tournament?
And secondly, because Jadeja certainly has enough on his plate.
He’ll bowl, bat at five or six and be in the key fielding positions so did he really need to be handed the captaincy as well? Only time will tell.
Their retained players from last year were Jadeja, Dhoni, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Moeen Ali.
But Ali misses out because of a Visa issue, meaning Devon Conway is likely to play and bat in the top three. Ali should be available for their second game.
But they have a far bigger problem with the very expensive and very injured Deepak Chahar. He may miss the whole tournament.
Player to Watch: Ruturaj Gaikwad
Over the last season and a half Gaikwad has taken the IPL by storm.
In his first season in 2020 he only played the second half of the season after suffering from Covid but played extremely well, notching fifty after fifty in a poor campaign for CSK.
And last year, playing from the start, he went on to be the Orange Cap winner, just beating teammate Faf du Plessis.
What’s odd is that he hasn’t had much of a chance for India ever since.
Other players like Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul have been preferred to him and occasionally, he was injured. But another good IPL this season and India won’t be able to ignore him anymore.
10CRIC make him the 4.14 favourite to be their top batsman in this match. And here’s our detailed 10CRIC review, by the way.
It was a strange season for Kolkata Knight Riders last time out. They’d made a slow start to the campaign before it was suspended and when it resumed, they were all of a sudden a far better outfit.
A lot of that had to do with the decision to open the batting with Venkatesh Iyer. He scored quickly and scored big and that made a huge difference.
It was a minor miracle that they even made the final after their disastrous start and they had to win two matches in the Playoffs just to make it, so deserve plenty of credit for that.
The final was a step too far but they will have learnt plenty about themselves last term.
KKR are two-time IPL winners.
KKR decided to retain Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Venkatesh Iyer and Varun Chakravarthy.
Retaining Russell was somewhat questionable given his poor injury record but then again, we all know what he can do when he is fit.
But perhaps more significant was the decision to buy Shreyas Iyer and make him skipper. The former Delhi man came at great cost but brings a lot to the table as a prolific top order batter and wise skipper.
In other news, Pat Cummins wasn’t retained but was bought back, while Alex Hales was bought, decided against playing in the IPL and was eventually replaced by Aaron Finch.
Player to Watch: Andre Russell
When fit, Russell is one of the top three or four best T20 players in the world.
He can bowl fast and bowl at any stage of the game and he can bat just about anywhere, though for some reason teams rarely choose to have him come in any earlier than five.
He’s not quite the fielder he used to be but can still catch practically anything, though he isn’t quite as quick as a few years back.
So here’s a real three-dimensional player who always seems to have a big impact on games.
He’s one of only two players to have won the IPL Most Valuable Player award twice (2015 and 2019), the other being Narine.
But as ever, his fitness is a worry and retaining him was a big gamble.
KKR’s Likely XI
V Iyer, Narine, Rana, S Iyer, Rahane, Russell, Billings, Cummins, Mavi, Umesh Yadav, Chakarathy
Venue & conditions
Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium is a ground we all know too well.
It’s traditionally one of the IPL’s high-scoring grounds with a good wicket and short straight boundaries.
The par score is around the 175 mark here but teams generally like to field first and know what they have to chase, safe in the knowledge that they can score quickly in the death overs.
There should be something in the wicket for both seamers and spinners, though there isn’t as much turn here as at other IPL grounds.
CSK vs KKR Head-to-Head
Looking at the CSK v KKR head-to-head and it’s Chennai who are significantly ahead. They’ve won 17 and lost just eight, with one no-result.
They played each other three times last year with CSK winning all three, including the final. That means the men in yellow have now won six of the last seven between them.
CSK vs KKR Toss Prediction
The CSK vs KKR toss winner statistics are extremely close, with KKR just one toss win ahead.
Interestingly, KKR won all three last season so it may just be CSK’s time to bite back. So let’s see if Jadeja can win it on his IPL debut as captain.