Virat Kohli would have taken a sigh of relief after a thrilling win over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Friday but now, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) would have to be on top of their game as they set their eyes on the table-toppers Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the 39th match of the ongoing season of Indian Premier League (IPL).
This is the second time these two teams will be playing against each other. The first match of this year’s IPL was played between them at the M Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, which turned out to be ‘one of the most dreadful IPL matches of all time’.
RCB was bowled out at just 70 runs because of a horrifying Chepauk pitch. But in response, CSK took almost 18 overs to make 71 runs and secure a victory.
Everyone is hoping for a ‘run feast’ this time as the match will take place in Bengaluru’s Chinnaswamy Stadium.
CHENNAI SUPER KINGS
CSK has been one of the consistent sides of this year’s Indian Premier League. They have beaten almost every team till now and would look to continue their dominance against RCB in today’s game too. The side comes into this game after a six-wicket loss at the hands of Sunrisers Hyderabad. Mahendra Singh Dhoni was not available to captain the team in their previous game because of a back spasm and the team will now hope to have Dhoni back into the side if they want to win this game.
The 34-year-old batsman Faf du Plessis has been their standout batsman in the team’s recent encounters. He gives a strong foundation to the team by playing an aggressive at the top, which sets the tone for the rest of the game. His partner, Shane Watson, would have to come good this time or else he would have to sacrifice his place for someone else.
Other batsmen such as Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, and Kedar Jadhav would have to contribute with valuable contributions in the middle-order if the team has to post a huge total on the scoreboard.
It is yet to be seen if Sam Billings would be given a second chance to show his batting skills if Dhoni comes back in the team.
On the other hand, the bowling department of CSK is probably one of the best in the tournament. Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, and Imran Tahir pierce through the batting line-ups and do not give them a chance to post a huge total.
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE
After a dismal performance in the league so far, the RCB side will be hoping for a miracle against CSK too. Even after posting a huge total of 213 against the Kolkata Knight Riders, the side led by Kohli won the match by just 11 runs, all thanks to a blistering knock of Andre Russell.
The bowling department looks out of place. Mohammad Siraj has been ‘one of the worst bowlers’ in the Bangalore camp this season. He has given a total of 269 runs in 8 matches that he has played so far at an economy rate of 9. He also has an unusual record of giving more than 40 runs in almost all the games of this year’s IPL and still, he continues to be a part of the playing XI.
The comeback man, Dale Steyn, will give a much-needed depth to the bowling department and we can expect some match-winning performances from the legendary pacer.
The skipper Virat Kohli will have to continue his golden run in white-ball cricket by producing another gem of an inning against CSK. His 58-ball 100 against KKR would have given him the momentum that he badly needed to carry forward in the tournament.
England’s Moeen Ali is in sublime touch too. He has given some really scintillating performances with the bat in previous encounters and would hope to continue his good form in today’s game also.
But if they have to win a game against a unit like CSK, they would have to play like a team. Only then, they will be able to outclass a team like Chennai.
CSK – Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni/Sam Billings, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, Karn Sharma, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, and Imran Tahir.
RCB – Virat Kohli, Parthiv Patel, AB de Villiers/Heinrich Klaasen, Moeen Ali, Akshdeep Nath, Marcus Stoinis, Pawan Negi, Dale Steyn, Mohammad Siraj, Navdeep Saini, and Yuzvendra Chahal.
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About the Author
Sports Journalist by profession, a Cricket Fanatic by passion. Aayush Sharma has been following the game of cricket since childhood and considers Sachin Tendulkar as his idol. When in free time, he loves to read books or go out and play some gully cricket with friends. For him, Tennis ace Roger Federer and F1 Legend Michael Schumacher are the only sportspersons that reach the level of Tendulkar