Smarting from back-to-back defeats, Rajasthan Royals would hope to bounce back with a win against Chennai Super Kings in their IPL match at home on Thursday, but it will be easier said than done as the MS Dhoni-led team has been on a rampage with three victories on the trot. With their top-order comprising Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Ajinkya Rahane and Shivam Dubey Firing together most of the time, CSK have notched up three easy wins while the Royals have lost their last two matches.
Thursday’s match could turn out to be a battle between CSK’s top-order batters and the world class spinners of the Royals.
Conway is the second most prolific batsman so far this season with 314 runs from seven matches while a “transformed” Rahane, who hit a 71 not out off just 29 balls against Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday, has been in devastating form with 209 runs from five games, at a stupendous strike rate of 199.04, the highest among the batters.
The Royals can take a bit of solace from the fact they emerged victorious in their first meeting of this season against CSK. However, even then CSK nearly pulled off a win as their talisman Dhoni turned the clock back with his batting, before going down by three runs in front of their home crowd.
However, things are different at the moment with Chennai registering their fifth win of the season, against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens on Sunday, to grab the top position in the standings with 10 points.
A win for CSK, at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium on Thursday, will brighten their playoff prospects further. The Super Kings, a four-time winners, have the personnel to humble the Royals in their own backyard.
Having suffered two consecutive losses, the Royals will be desperate to get their campaign back on track with a clinical performance against the visitors from Chennai.
For the Royals to do well, it is imperative that the likes of Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal and skipper Sanju Samson deliver with the bat and then, on a pitch that has help for the slower bowlers, hope that the seasoned spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal fire.
They may be playing at their base, but the Royals can expect plenty of home team fans at the stands rooting for CSK skipper Dhoni, who is probably appearing in his last IPL season, just like it happened in Kolkata a few days back.
Teams (from): Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain & wk), Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ambati Rayudu, Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Ravindra JadejaAjinkya Rahane Sisanda MagalaShivam Dubey Dwaine PretoriusAhay Mandal, Nishant Sindhu, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Mitchell Santner,Subharnshu Senapati, Simarjeet SinghMatheesa Pathirana, Mahesh Theekshana, Bhagath Verma, Prashant SolankiShaikh Rasheed, Tushar Deshpande,
Rajasthan Royals: Sanju Samson (c), Abdul Basith, Murugan AshwinRavichandran Ashwin KM Asif, Trent BoultJos Buttler KC CariappaYuzvendra Chahal, Donovan Ferreira, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason HolderYashasvi Jaiswal, Dhruv Jurel, Obed McCoy, Devdutt Padikkal, Riyan Parag, Kunal Singh Rathore, Joe Root, Navdeep Saini, Sandeep Sharma, Kuldeep Sen, Akash Vasisht, Kuldeep Yadav, Adam Zampa,
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