The Rajasthan Royals host the Chennai Super Kings on Friday (11 May) evening at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.
Interestingly both CSK and RR had started of the tournament on a high and had gained some momentum early on in the tournament. While CSK have been able to build on that momentum and have 7 wins from their 10 matches, RR, lag far behind with 4 wins from 10 games and plenty of issues to address in their dugout.
However, both these franchises are coming into this match on the back of wins from their last encounters. RR was splendid against the KXIP the other day beating the Punjab side for 15 runs, Chennai, too had a good day on the field against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. RR batting is a serious matter of concern and they haven’t been able to come out good as a unit. Jos Buttler at the top of the order has been phenomenal, however, RR need few more batsmen to put their hands up and help the Royals come up with a strong and challenging total.
CSK, on the other hand, have bowling concerns. But with the senior spinners Harbhajan and Ravindra Jadeja coming good against RCB, CSK will feel that their bowling is peaking just at the right moment. CSK fielding hasn’t been the best in the tournament and given MSD’s emphasis on a better fielding unit, he would feel there is a lot of scope of improvement in that department.
Buttler remains the key batsmen in the RR squad. With three half centuries in last three innings, Buttler will open the innings for the team and would look for support in batsmen like skipper Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson who have remained quite in last couple of matches now. Perhaps it is high time that Ben Stokes joins the party too and gets some runs under his belt and keep RR alive for the business end of the tournament.
Chennai have an in-form batting lineup with Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni all amongst the runs. Watson already has a century against RR, Rayudu has played the season of his life that has earned him a return to the Indian ODI side, Raina, well, is showing why he is known as Mr. IPL and Dhoni is batting as well as he ever has in the Indian Premier League. Dhoni hasn’t been dismissed in the last three games and is scoring at a phenomenal strike rate as well.
Jofra Archer has clearly made the difference in the Rajasthan attack and has picked up 9 wickets already joining the team lately. And one can expect a few more wickets in his kitty tonight. K Gowtham and CSK spinners (Bhajji, Jadeja, Karn Sharma) will take center stage as well because the Jaipur’s big boundaries will come into play.
Here’s another interesting battle from the Pink City. Broadcast Starts at 20:00 Hours (IST).