MS Dhoni-led CSK (Chennai Super Kings) will lock horns against Rajasthan Royals (RR)at a gala match on Friday in Pune. It’s going to be a crispy contest for sure.
Both teams have four points each. They will try to outfox each other to secure a win and move up in the IPL Points Table 2018.
Currently, KKR are on top of the IPL Points Table 2018 (1st rank) with 6 Points from 5 matches. SRH (Ranking 2nd) are positioned just below KKR with 6 Points from 3 matches.
CSK’s opening pair will be Murali Vijay and Shane Watson while Rayudu, Dhoni and Billings will follow next. Ravindra Jadeja and Bravo will tackle the lower middle order batting offering much depth to CSK’s hard hitting batting in the slog overs.
The hosts are likely to continue with Rahane and Rahul Tripathi (in the absence of D’arcy Short) as an opening pair for Friday’s clash. Samson, Klaasen, Stokes and Buttler will handle RR’s middle order.
Team News for Chennai Super Kings (CSK)
Good news for CSK is the exhibition of quality batting by Rayudu and MS Dhoni in the last few matches. They are in fine touch, and also the leading run-scorers for the side this year.
Dwayne Bravo is also in good form and played a wonderful knock in CSK’s comeback match against MI (Mumbai Indians) earlier this month.
Chennai Super Kings won convincingly against Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders in their first two games, but unexpectedly lost to Kings XI Punjab in a nail-biting match. So, Chennai will definitely tread with a caution now.
CSK will depend a lot upon its star spinners: Imran Taahir and Ravindra Jadeja. The leg-spin and off-spin combination can be fatal for Rajasthan Royals.
Not to forget, Ravindra Jadeja’s orthodox bowling and Dwayne Bravo’s cunning slow bowls during the death overs.
Team News for Rajasthan Royals (RR)
Having won the inaugural trophy of IPL 2008, RR have always been a competitive side at IPL. Young Sanju Samson is batting very well this season.
He has already smashed 185 runs runs in four matches. He has also maintained a staggering strike rate of 158, which is indeed a spectacular achievement.
Ajinkya Rahane, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes are also capable batsmen but they need to play big knocks from now on.
A lot of expectations surround Ben Stokes as he was the costliest pick at IPL Auction 2018, but he has been able to live up to the expectations until now.
Rajasthan’s bowling will primarily depend upon K Gowtham, Jaydev Unadkat, Ben Stokes and Ben Laughlin.
If Unadkat and Stokes get some initial breakthroughs, then it will be difficult for CSK to score runs freely.
Both are quality fast bowlers, and have a variety of bowling options in their armory.
Head to Head: Matches Played 18, CSK won 11, RR won 7
Predicted Playing XI of Both Teams
Chennai Super Kings – Shane Watson, Murali Vijay, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (Captain & Wicket Keeper), Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh, Sam Billings, Ravindra Jadeja, Imran Tahir and Shardul Thakur.
Rajasthan Royals – Ajinkya Rahane (Captain), Rahul Tripathi, Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler (Wicket Keeper), Krishnappa GowthamHeinrich Klaasen, Ben Stokes, , Shreyas Gopal, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat and Ben Laughlin
Match Winner Prediction: Chennai Super Kings (CSK)
Man of the Match: Dwayne Bravo or Ben Stokes
Venue: The will telecast live from 8 PM onwards on Friday, 20th April 2018 straight from Pune. For live Streaming of IPL 2018 Matches, Log On to www.thecheckernews.com
(Pre-Match Analysis By: Atish Home Chowdhury)
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