It is top versus bottom in the Indian Premier League season 12, as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will host Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Sunday in Chennai. While the hosts have an unbeaten record so far (W2), the visitors are at the opposite end (L2).
CSK enjoy playing the Royals at this venue, holding a 5-1 record. The last time RR won a game in Chennai was in the inaugural IPL season in 2008.
The defending Champions started in their usual positive fashion with successive wins. This extends their winning streak to five games across two seasons. Shane Watson and Suresh Raina have already struck form, which augurs well for Chennai.
Is there anything for Dhoni to worry about? Even the bowlers are doing their job, so it is practically an easy job. What should worry him is the limited number of overseas options. David Willey has also withdrawn, but Scott Kuggeleijn has been signed as a replacement for Lungi Ngidi and will join soon.
A classy century from Sanju Samson was not enough for Rajasthan to pick their first win of the season. Bowling worries continue to trouble, as Jaydev Unadkat’s poor returns plague the side. Ajinkya Rahane getting back to form is a huge boost.
Steve Smith is yet to hit form on his IPL return, while the domestic middle-order players are also yet to pull their weight. With impact players like Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer in their ranks, it is a matter of time before RR get into their groove.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Suresh Raina is an IPL legend in his own style. The stylish left-hander has 569 runs against RR in 19 matches. He is the leading run-getter against them and would be looking to make the most of it.
Imran Tahir has four wickets to his name at an ER of 4.83. The passionate spinner who enjoys making a statement is sure to enjoy the spin conditions. Remember his spell of 3/9 in the previous match here?
Jos Buttler must be seething in anger, after that ‘Mankading’ incident. Will he channel his energies into runs against Chennai? Highly likely, so have him in your fantasy side.
CSK: 1 Shane Watson 2 Ambati Rayudu 3 Suresh Raina 4 Kedar Jadhav 5 MS Dhoni (C & WK) 6 Ravindra Jadeja 7 Dwayne Bravo 8 Deepak Chahar 9 Shardul Thakur 10 Harbhajan Singh 11 Imran Tahir
RR: 1 Ajinkya Rahane (C) 2 Jos Buttler (WK) 3 Sanju Samson 4 Steve Smith 5 Ben Stokes 6 Rahul Tripathi 7 K Gowtham 8 Jofra Archer 9 Jaydev Unadkat 10 Shreyas Gopal 11 Dhawal Kulkarni
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