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IPL 2019: CSK's Best XI for the opening match against RCB

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
16 Mar 2019, 06:35 IST

Dhoni Vs Kohli - An exciting match on the cards
Dhoni Vs Kohli - An exciting match on the cards

The 12th edition of the Indian Premier League kicks off on 23rd March 2019 with a match between defending champions Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai. While the CSK squad led by MS Dhoni is basically unchanged with the exception of Mohit Sharma coming in for Mark Wood, the RCB team led by Virat Kohli has made a few changes compared to last year.

For RCB, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, and Shivam Dube have come into the team. The opening match between the two teams is expected to be a cracker of a match just like the opening match between CSK and MI in IPL 2018.

In this article, let us discuss the best XI for CSK for the first match against RCB.

The Openers

#1 Shane Watson


Shane Watson - The flamboyant all-rounder
Shane Watson - The flamboyant all-rounder

The century that Shane Watson scored in the final of the last IPL is still fresh in everyone’s memory. After failing to score off the first 10 balls of his innings, Watson stormed to an unbeaten 117 in the next 47 balls with 11 fours and 8 sixes at a strike rate of 205.

In IPL 2018, Watson, playing for CSK for the first time, aggregated 555 runs in 15 matches at an average of 40 and strike rate of 155 with 2 hundreds. Though retired from international cricket, Watson has been in exceptional form in the BPL and PSL.

In IPL 2018, Dhoni used Watson sparingly as a bowler and CSK would be a much-balanced team this year if Watson could bowl more overs. He is the automatic choice for CSK as an opener in the opening match of IPL 2019.

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#2 Ambati Rayudu


Rayadu - The highest run-scorer for CSK last year
Rayadu - The highest run-scorer for CSK last year

Rayudu was CSK’s highest run-scorer in IPL 2018 with 602 runs in 16 innings at an average of 43 and strike rate of 150. He scored his maiden IPL century against SRH last year and as an opener, he scored 397 runs last year @40.

Though Rayudu has not been in the best of form for India of late, he is a totally different player in the IPL. However, he should open with Shane Watson for CSK.


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