CSK Vs RR: Pitch in focus as RR look to break their Chepauk Jinx
It must be tough being Rajasthan Royals right now. Two defeats in two matches in IPL 2019 so far, when they could have won both with better luck and cool-headed execution. If the batting was at fault against Kings XI Punjab with the total within reach, the bowling crumbled against Sunrisers Hyderabad with 198 to defend. These losses will sting more because Royals need to stack up wins in the first half of the IPL more than others, as they’ll be losing most of their star overseas contingent in the second half.
They need a turnaround fast because three losses in a row could become crippling, but they face possibly the toughest match to do that: Chennai Super Kings in Chennai. Expertly marshalled by MSD, Super Kings haven’t even felt the need to play their full quota of overseas players in their two matches so far. Expect them to be not rigid about fielding their 4 overseas players owing to MSD’s love affair with a settled squad. Rajasthan might consider bringing in someone like Mahipal Lomror, who offers a left-arm spin option, in place of Rahul Tripathi, given the conditions. Alternately, they could drop one of Jaydev Unadkat or Dhawal Kulkarni, and bring in a leggie, one of S Midhun or Riyan Parag. The pitch is going to be in focus for this game, given what transpired in the opening match, with both Dhoni and Virat Kohli not really pleased with whatever the track had to offer that didn’t let balls come on to the bat. There will be a different surface used, but Chennai has traditionally been friendly to spin anyway. The ground staff tried to mitigate against that, with a tent-like structure covering the pitch from Wednesday to Friday so that it’s not baked too much by the harsh sun. Rajasthan Royals would want their main powers in Butler, Rahane and Samson to come handy this game but their ground fielding which wasn’t anyway close to good will remain essential to determine the outcome of this game, given the boundary size at Chepauk is not Kotla-like. CSK start this game as favourites to take this game but if the pitch remains like last time, “Win the toss, Win the match” can get a promotion again.
Chennai Super Kings: Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir
Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Steven Smith, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tripathi/Mahipal Lomror, K Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Unadkat/Midhun, Dhawal Kulkarni