The sixth edition of Champions League T20 is all set to get kicked off at the Uppal, Hyderabad with two familiar foes lock horns against each other in the opening match of the tournament. The opening night clash will have the two IPL teams that had won the IPL twice in the past. Defending IPL Champions Kolkata Knight Riders host former IPL and CLT20 Chennai Super Kings in the inaugural encounter in Hyderabad.
The weather seems to worry the organisers a bit as thunder storms are predicted in few parts of the city on the night before and the day of the clash (i.e. tonight and tomorrow morning).
The wickets at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium is used to favour the batsmen especially during the CLT20. It is one of the few grounds in India where the boundary sizes are quite reasonable.
The Kolkata Knight Riders are making their third appearance in the CLT20 and second time in the main round. The Knights don’t possess a good record in this tournament and will look to do well this time around. Even before the tournament started, they had their issues with the overseas players as Chris Lynn injured his shoulders, Shakib al Hasan wasn’t given the NOC by the BCB and days before the tournament Morne Morkel injured his shoulder. So, now they are left with only five foreigners to pick four of them. Once again, they will rely on usual suspects which includes skipper Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Sunil Narine, Yusuf Pathan and Umesh Yadav to deliver the goods for the team. This also provides a big chance for young Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav to make his debut and create an impression during the tournament.
On the other hand, Chennai Super has the most balanced team in the tournament. Having won the tournament once in the past, the men in yellow didn’t achieve much success like they did in the Indian Premier League. CSK will go in to the tournament as one of the favourites.
Possible Playing XI:
1 Gautam Gambhir (capt), 2 Manish Pandey, 3 Manvinder Bisla (wk), 4 Yusuf Pathan, 5 Suryakumar Yadav, 6 Ryan ten Doeschate, 7 Andre Russell, 8 Piyush Chawla, 9 Pat Cummins 10 Sunil Narine, 11 Kuldeep Yadav