The Chennai Super Kings were one of the best teams in the UAE leg of IPL 2014, and with their batsmen, particularly the openers -- Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith -- and bowlers firing on all cylinders, CSK will look to improve their four-match winning streak when they host the Kolkata Knight Riders in Ranchi on Friday.
Where to Watch Live:
Watch the highlights of the game HERE
Get the report HERE
The first game in India is scheduled for an 8 pm IST (3.30 pm BST, 10.30 am ET) start with live coverage on Sony Six (English) and Sony Max (Hindi) in India. The game can also be watched via live streaming online HERE or HERE. Viewers around the world can live stream the T20 action HERE or HERE. Watch the game in the US through Willow TV or via the live streaming option HERE, while Canada viewers can watch the games on Sportsnet or HERE.
Viewers in the UK can catch the match on ITV, while Pakistan viewers can do the same on Geo Super, with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh audience able to watch the game on TV on Masaranga TV and Carlton Sports Network respectively. Viewers in the Middle East can watch the action on OSN with the live streaming option HERE, while New Zealand viewers can do the same via Sky NZ or HERE or via the above rest of the world options.
CSK skipper MS Dhoni will undoubtedly receive a tremendous ovation at his home ground, part of the reason why the Super Kings chose to play a couple of their "home" matches in Ranchi.
Dhoni has not been the talk of the town from a CSK aspect this season, however, with Smith and McCullum deservedly taking most of the plaudits after the UAE leg, in which the Chennai franchise won four of their five matches, losing only to the unbeaten Kings XI Punjab, and that too thanks largely to an unstoppable assault from Glenn Maxwell.
"It has been a good time here," McCullum told IPL's official website. "We have played some good cricket, and if we had been given four out of five wins for this part of the tournament before the start of the competition, we would have been pretty happy. We have played well and gelled quite nicely as a team. Hopefully, we continue that form when we get to India.
"There is still a long way to go in the tournament, but I have certainly enjoyed my partnership with Dwayne Smith. It is great to bat with him because he is so powerful and has a lot of options in his batting. He is a very intelligent cricketer as well. We seem to have a good rapport and get a good partnership going. It is nice to be able to contribute, and personally too I am enjoying my time with CSK so far."
KKR, McCullum's former side, have not had a great time of it this season though, crashing to three defeats in five games in the UAE, with the latest loss coming via that incredible Super Over game against the Rajasthan Royals.
The one positive to come out of that match was skipper Gautam Gambhir finally getting some runs, but the Knight Riders need to improve on all aspects of their game soon to be right up there in contention for a top four place.
"We've just been a little bit off in our game," KKR coach Trevor Bayliss admitted after the nerve-wracking defeat to RR on Tuesday. "We played really well in our first match but I don't think we have performed anywhere near our potential yet. We've seen flashes of it but that's the highs and lows of a T20 game.
"We're looking forward to all our batsmen scoring runs. That's what everyone is striving for. It was good to see the captain score some runs, which will hopefully be the beginning of a good run for him."
KKR's strength is their bowling, but Sunil Narine does require some help, and the likes of Morne Morkel, Piyush Chawla and R Vinay Kumar need to be more consistent and ensure they don't leak too many runs at the other end. The more runs the opponents need to score off Narine, the more dangerous the spinner becomes.
However, if the Super Kings get off to a fast start yet again, courtesy McCullum and Smith, even Narine will be able to do little to stop the CSK juggernaut.