Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals will battle in out in game number 47 of the Indian Premier League season 8 at the Chepauk Stadium on Sunday. There is really not much to chose between the two sides since they have been among the most impressive ones this season. Having said that, Rajasthan defeated Chennai the first time these two teams met at Ahmedabad, so the latter will be keen to set the record straight. At the same time, both Rajasthan and Chennai lost their previous matches, so they would be equally keen to get back to winnings ways.
Match: Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals, 47th T20 at Chennai
Time: Match Start at 8 PM IST | 14:30 GMT
Toss: Chennai Super Kings, who chose to bat first
Both Rajasthan and Chennai have had fortunes running rather parallel in the tournament. Chennai won their first three matches before being handed out their first defeat at the hands of Rajasthan. But, it was only a one-game blip as they won the next four matches in a row. However, this was followed by losses to Kolkata and Sunriers Hyderabad. They were successful in overcoming the Bangalore challenge, but were outdone by Mumbai in their fortress, Chepauk, in their last match. Clearly, there are areas they still need to work on.
Rajasthan, on the other hand, were off to an ever better start as compared to Chennai. While MS Dhoni’s side began with three wins in a row, Rajasthan’s unbeaten streak extended to five. They were finally undone courtesy a brilliant show by Kings XI Punjab, in a match that went into the Super Over, in which Rajasthan could not hold their nerve. They lost momentum, going down to Bangalore, and washed out games against Kolkata and Bangalore did not help their cause. They got back to winning ways with a victory over Delhi, but were downed by Sunrisers in their last match.
Following recent reverses, Chennai would look to their strong batting to put things back on track. The dynamic opening duo of Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith will be key to the team’s fortunes. Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis and skipper MS Dhoni make for a formidable middle order. In the bowling, they have Ashish Nehra and Dwayne Bravo, both of whom are at the top of the wickets table with 17 scalps each. Mohit Sharma has also done well. In the spin department, Ravindra Jadeja and Pawan Negi will be expected to deliver although the latter had a poor game against Mumbai.
Rajasthan, as always, will seek runs from Ajinkya Rahane, their most dependable bat. In captain Shane Watson, Steven Smith, Karun Nair and Sanju Samson, they have other good names in the batting department. All of the them have come up with match-defining efforts at some part of this year’s edition. Rajasthan have a decent bowling line up as well, with Tim Southee, Dhawal Kulkarni, Watson and James Faulkner handling the pace department, and Pravin Tambe making life difficult for batsmen with his leg spin.
--By A Cricket Analyst