Winners of the first IPL back in 2008, Rajasthan Royals (RR) play host to the reigning champions, Chennai Super Kings (CSK), in match 25 at the Sawai Mansingh stadium in Jaipur on Thursday.
RR (W1, L4) come into this match on the back of an eight-wicket trouncing by the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Sitting seventh in the table with a net run-rate of -0.848, RR are four points adrift of the pack albeit with a game in hand.
They are not short of talent especially with both Jos Butler (176 runs) and Steve Smith (159) prominent in the best batsman chart. However, they have Shreyas Gopal (eight wickets at 12.75 apiece) standing alone in the top 20 bowler’s chart and that is where their biggest problem lies.
Jofra Archer, although economical (7.21), has taken just three wickets, while Ben Stokes has been ineffectual with both bat and ball. To have any chance of a place of the playoffs, they need to perform better as a unit.
CSK (W5, L1) in contrast have played as a unit and have all but booked their place in the next stage. They come into the match on the back of a convincing seven-wicket win over in-form KKR.
Their main strength lies in their bowling with four of their attack riding high in the most wicket takers chart, including Imran Tahir with nine wickets at 13.11 apiece. Their weakness so far has been with the bat, with only MS Dhoni (156 runs) and Suresh Raina (132) performing consistently.
RR vs CSK T20 – Expected Playing XI
Ajinkya Rahane (c), Jos Buttler (wk), Steve Smith, Sanju Samson, Rahul Tripathi, Ben Stokes, Krishnappa Gowtham, Mahipal Lomror, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Dhawal Kulkarni
Chennai Super Kings
Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (c), Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir, Scott Kuggeleijn
RR vs CSK T20 – Fantasy Players To Watch Out For
Stokes (RR) is due a big innings and a decent spell of bowling, while Ambati Rayudu (CSK) is also due a big innings and being dropped down the order might just do the trick.
CSK lead the all-time H2H with 11 wins to seven. RR have smashed 24 sixes in their five matches played compared to CSK’s 27 in six matches.
CSK have the lowest average powerplay score this season with 38.2, while RR have the third best at 45.4 When playing here and batting second, RR have won 80.00% of their matches (20).