The mighty Chennai Super Kings (CSK), who are sitting at the top of the table with 10 points, are all set to take on Rajasthan Royals (RR) in their second encounter of IPL 2023 at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur on Thursday (April 27).
Earlier in the tournament, RR defeated CSK by 3 runs. However, in the last few matches, the MS Dhoni-led side has regained the confidence after winning three matches in a row against KKR, RCB and SRH. On the other hand, Sanju Samson’s RR seem to have lost a bit of momentum as they have lost the last two games against RCB and LSG.
Still, RR with eight points and 4 wins in 7 matches looks like a strong side. There bowling has been really impressive and the top batting order that has the likes of Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal and Sanju Samson.
Head-to-head stats: RR and CSK have faced each other in 27 matches so far, out of which, CSK have won 15, while Rajasthan have won 12 games.
Key players for CSK: If we look at the batting order of CSK, all the top four batters Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja have been in a very good form.
Rahane, who is having a dream run in this year’s IPL batting with a strike-rate of nearly 200, will be the player to watch out for.
Conway too is having a good run with the bat as the Kiwi left-handed batter has scored 314 runs in 7 matches at a strike-rate of 143.48.
These two will be the key batters for CSK.
Key players for RR: The good thing about RR’s set up is that the domestic talent has been highly impressive in the tournament. Be it Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sandeep Sharma, Devdutt Padikkal, Dhruv Jurel, Yuzvendra Chahal.
In today’s match, all eyes will be on England’s Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson and Shimron Hetmeyer. Hetmeyer couldn’t fire with the bat in the last two matches scoring 3(9) and 2(5) and RR lost both the games.
Who has the edge? Both the teams have their strengths and weaknesses.
Chennai’s bowling has not been that great as compared to Rajasthan. In the absence of Ben Stokes, CSK’s pace attack is average compared to RR, as medium pace bowlers like Matheesha Pathirana and Maheesh Theekshana have played very few matches and it all gets down to Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali and Tushar Deshpande to handle the bowling department.
Compared to this, RR’s bowling is considerably strong, especially its right-arm medium pacer Sandeep Sharma, who won the game for RR in the last encounter against CSK by defending 16 runs in the final over. Then RR has leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravichandra Ashwin. Both of them have been performing well for RR with Chahal bagging 12 wickets in and Ashwin getting 8. Lending them support is Trent Boult and Jason Holder in the pace deprtment.
But on the batting front, CSK has more depth with Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shivam Dube, Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja, Ajinkya Rahane, Devon Conway and MS Dhoni.
And since IPL matches are more often decided by batting, CSK definitely have high chances of winning against RR because of an extremely strong batting line-up. On top of that, the Sawai Man Singh pitch is also batting friendly with an assistance for spinners coming later in the match.
Probable playing XIs:
CSK: Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ajinkya Rahane, Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni, Matheesha Pathirana, Tushar Deshpande, Maheesh Theekshana and Akash Singh.
RR: Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson, Devdutt Padikkal, Shimron Hetmeyer, Dhruv Jurel, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Trent Boult, Sandeep Sharma, Jason Holder.