HEAD-TO-HEAD All-time meetings: Chennai Super Kings W10, Rajasthan Royals W6
THE TEAM NEWS
CHENNAI SUPER KINGS
Coach: Stephen Fleming
Captain: MS Dhoni
CSK went down in a thrilling match against the Kings XI Punjab after being hit around the park at the hands of Chris Gayle and conceding 197 which they failed to chase so that loss puts them in the middle of the ladder with four other teams on two victories.
Although they won their first two games, CSK have now conceded 399 runs in their previous two matches and this must be rectified against Rajasthan who are coming off a score of over 200 themselves.
MS Dhoni suffered a back injury against the Kings XI and whilst he has declared himself ready to go, he may be ruled out by the medical staff. Faf du Plessis has been on the side-line with what is said to be a minor side strain and may be fit to take Dhoni’s spot if required.
Coach: Paddy Upton
Captain: Ajinkya Rahane
After such an impressive match against RCB, Rajasthan were soundly beaten by Kolkata Knight Riders and whilst D’Arcy Short was finally able to get going (44 from 43), the middle order could not fire with the Royals only able to post 160 which was chased down with relative ease by KKR.
The bowling attack has continuously let down the Royals, with the side averaging a touch over 3 wickets per match (excluding the rain affected match against Delhi). To give a better indication of how poor the bowling has been, their highest ranked wicket taker so far this series is Krishnappa Gowthan who sits in 21st position with just three wickets.
Although it may seem like a radical call, it may be time for Ben Stokes to have a rest or at least move down the order. In his return to the IPL, Stokes has managed just 62 runs at an average of just 15 with the bat and taken just 1/78 from a total of eight overs with the ball. It may seem harsh given what he has been through however the IPL rests for no one as Brendon McCullum is aware.
Rajasthan produced a great win just a few days ago against Royal Challengers Bangalore where they produced a well-rounded performance. Against KKR, the lack of consistency hurt them once again. We know they can produce a good batting score, but we are yet to see any sign of domination from the bowlers. The worry for Chennai is also their bowling attack, as we have seen the Royals have the ability to score big and CSK have a tendency to leak runs which could see this to be a closer match than it would seem. The loss of MS Dhoni would be a huge blow if they are to miss out, but we are still expecting CSK to get the job done regardless.
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