The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) take on the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Match 19 of the IPL 2021 season at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. This is one of the most anticipated clashes as it will see two greats of Indian cricket in MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli face off against each other.
The stakes are already high as this is a top-of-the-table clash. CSK have won three games on the trot and are in second position, looking to overcome RCB who are sitting pretty at the top of the table with four wins from four.
CSK vs RCB: 3 batsmen to watch out for
The Wankhede Stadium has witnessed the occasional low-scoring game, but overall it has been a batting-friendly wicket. Runs on the board have become extremely important and, with star batsmen from both CSK and RCB in top form, this promises to be an absolute runfest.
On that note, let's have a look at three batsmen who could have a memorable outing with the bat in the CSK vs RCB encounter:
#3 Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali has finally proved what he can do if he gets regular game-time in the IPL. CSK recognized that their poor batting was one of the main issues due to which they couldn't qualify for the playoffs last year.
Sensing a need for urgency in the powerplay upfront, Ali was given the role of playing his counter-attacking brand of cricket at No.3. Although the 33-year-old hasn't got a big score yet, he has looked in sensational form with his effective cameos. Ali has scored 133 runs from 4 games at a brilliant strike-rate of 152.87.
His batting has given CSK's innings real impetus and they are looking like a formidable unit this year. Ali was also with the RCB for the last three seasons but despite impressing in the few chances that he got, the 33-year-old couldn't get a longer rope.
This could certainly play on the minds of the England all-rounder and he would like to prove a point by showing RCB they might have made a big mistake by letting him go. It will be interesting to see how he goes about his business for CSK against his former employers
#2 AB de Villiers
At 37 years of age, AB de Villiers is not showing any signs of slowing down and has already donned a new role in this new-look RCB team. Generally having batted in the top order over the years for RCB, De Villiers is now RCB's finisher at No.5.
While many still think this number is a bit too low for someone of De Villiers' caliber, the 37-year-old has already won two out of the four games on his own on a slow and turning wicket in Chennai.
On a pitch where most of the batsmen have struggled to get going, AB de Villiers has scored 125 runs at a ridiculous strike-rate of 189.39. If he was in such form on the sluggish Chennai wickets, one can only imagine the damage the Proteas star could do on a batting-friendly wicket at the Wankhede.
De Villiers also has good memories of this ground, having scored a brilliant 133 against the Mumbai Indians here in 2015. The pitch certainly suits his strokeplay and if he gets enough deliveries to face, we might once again witness an AB de Villiers masterclass against CSK.
#1 Glenn Maxwell
The brilliant opening stand between Devdutt Padikkal and Virat Kohli ensured that RCB didn't require Glenn Maxwell's carnage at the Wankhede in their previous game. However, Maxwell has done well against CSK and this could well be another day where he puts up an exhibition of belligerent hitting.
There were doubts as to how Maxwell would perform when he was snapped up for a whopping INR 14.25 crore by RCB in the IPL 2021 auction. The 32-year-old had a terrible last season with Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings). But he has been one of the main reasons why RCB are sitting on top of the table.
Maxwell is the highest run-scorer for RCB at the moment with 176 runs to his name. He already has two fifties on surfaces which were extremely challenging for the batsmen. The decision to let Maxwell bat at No.4 ahead of De Villiers has paid dividends due to the all-rounder's fine form.
Like De Villiers, the Wankhede pitch will also suit Maxwell's style of batting as the ball could come on to the bat nicely. If the 32-year-old gets going, we will be in for some fireworks in the RCB vs CSK game.