Dubai: Already out of playoffs reckoning, a relaxed Chennai Super Kings are ready to play party-poopers with an aim to foil Kolkata Knight Riders' desperate bid for a victory in an Indian Premier League game on Thursday.
KKR with 12 points from 12 games would like to win the next two encounters to ensure a smooth passage while CSK, currently at the bottom of the eight-team table, are only playing for pride.
A possibility remains that multiple teams will end up on either 16 or 14 points and a comprehensive victory at this stage of the tournament will bring the superior net run-rate into the equation when the playoff spots are decided.
It won't get too easy for KKR against CSK, who handed an eight-wicket thrashing to Royal Challengers Bangalore in their previous outing.
KKR's unsettled batting order is a point of concern for Eoin Morgan, who would hope that former skipper Dinesh Karthik produces his A game when it matters most.
If the top-order fires, KKR will be better served as inconsistency has hurt the team in the course of the season as has the constant chopping and changing.
The bowlers have done a good job so far, with Tamil Nadu's mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy being impressive and earning a spot in the Indian T20 team.
They need to be at the top of their game against the CSK batting unit that has been frustratingly inconsistent but is more than capable of being destructive on its day.
Paceman Pat Cummins, the Knight Riders' costliest buy, has not been able to make the desired impact with the ball save for one game and would need to put his hand up in this crucial match.
Against CSK, which is missing out on the playoffs for the first time ever, Kolkata's batting faces a varied attack which was boosted with the inclusion of Mitchell Santner in the last game and needs to step up.
CSK, on their part, will be aiming to build on the win over RCB and end the season on a high, apart from hurting the chances of play-off hopefuls.
The batting showed some spark with the young Ruturaj Gaikwad coming up with an enterprising knock and skipper Dhoni will be hoping he keeps the good form going.
The CSK bowlers choked a strong RCB batting unit with a performance that reminded CSK of yore and that should be a worry for the KKR batsmen short on consistency.
For CSK, any win would be welcome as they endured a forgettable season which is just about to wind down.
England's World Cup-winning captain Morgan will hope to lead from the front but that would call for a collective performance. There is a lot at stake for the Knights and they would settle for nothing less than a big win.
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Eoin Morgan's 50-over world champions were set to play the three-match series as part of the International Cricket Council's (ICC's) World Cup Super League.
Cummins has been named in both the white and red-ball squads as vice-captain. The limited-overs series is to be held in Sydney and Canberra ahead of the four-match Test series, beginning in Adelaide on 17 December.
The 33-year-old played four ODIs — from which he took three wickets — and one T20 International. He last played for India in 2010. He featured in 14 Indian Premier League matches for Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad.