IPL 2019, CSK vs RCB: A look at how the two teams can shape up
The Indian Premier league’s 12th season starts on 23rd March in Chennai. With the start of the new IPL season just a few hours away, we take a look at how the teams will line up for the first match. To kick-off this cricket bonanza in 2019, it is Chennai Super Kings who will play against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. It is Mahendra Singh Dhoni vs Virat Kohli.
3 times IPL champions and the defending champions - CSK and Mahendra Singh Dhoni will try to get a winning start to their IPL campaign while 3 times runners up - RCB and Virat Kohli will try to build momentum from the very beginning with an aim of getting their hands on the ever elusive IPL trophy.
Last season these 2 sides played twice and CSK trumped RCB on both the occasions. In the first match, CSK successfully chased a mammoth target of 205 with M.S. Dhoni scoring 70 runs off just 34 deliveries. In the second encounter, it was the spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Harbhajan Singh who restricted RCB to a meager 127, which was chased down comfortably by CSK.
Venue: M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. Capacity: 38,000
Pitch Conditions: Though traditionally the pitch supports the spinners, the last 2 games on this venue have been the high-scoring encounters. India recently played against West Indies in a T20 match at this venue and both the teams posted 180+ totals on the board. Also, in the only IPL match that happened on this ground in the 2018 season, both the teams scored 200+ totals and CSK chased down the total with 2 balls to spare.
Considering the past records and the fast outfield, we are definitely in for an entertaining high scoring game here.
CSK Predicted Line-up
CSK does not like to make too many changes and they have maintained the same core of the team over the years.
Openers: Shane Watson will open the batting along with Faf Du Plessis. CSK would want Watson to continue with his purple patch from the recently concluded PSL.
Middle Order: CSK have a very solid Indian middle order batting core and that's very important in IPL, Raina Along with Rayadu, Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav. They also have some backups in the form of Murali Vijay and Dhruv Shorey. Suresh Raina’s lack of game time in the past one year might be the only concern here. In the lower middle order, evergreen Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja are automatic selections.
Bowling: Though they have lost Lungi Ngidi to an injury they still have a good Indian pace bowling trio in the form of Deepak Chahar, Mohit Sharma, and Shardul Thakur. As David Willy has not joined the team yet, the fourth overseas slot can be given to Mitchell Santner. With Jadeja, Jadhav, and Santner in the side, it will get difficult for Karn Shama and Harbhajan Singh to get a place in the starting XI for the first game.
Predicted Playing XI: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, M.S. Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Mitchell Santner, Mohit Sharma/Shardul Thakur
Overseas players: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Dwayne Bravo, Mitchell Santner
RCB Predicted Line-up
Openers: In the absence of Marcus Stoinins, RCB will rely on Moeen Ali to open the innings alongside Parthiv Patel. Both of these batsmen are not big hitters and rather depend on placement and timings of shots, and hence batting in the powerplay overs will help them to get some valuable runs.
Middle Order: In the Middle order, RCB has a pair of batsmen which any team will be envious of. At number 3 RCB will have Virat Kohli who has been in the form of his life and AB de Villiers will come to the crease at number four. Shimron Hetmyer is a terrific addition to this line-up. He can provide an impetus to the scoring rate in the middle overs. Shivam Dube, the hard-hitting all-rounder from Mumbai will have the role of the finisher in this squad and RCB will hope that he carries out this role for the team in the same manner as Hardik Pandya does for Mumbai Indians. To add further to the batting prowess of the team In the lower middle order RCB can choose one of the 2 spin all-rounders that they have at their disposal - Washinton Sunar and Pawan Negi.
Bowling: Umesh Yadav will lead the pace bowling attack while Yuzvendra Chahal will be the main spinner for RCB. Yadav is great at the start of the innings and in all probability, Tim Southee will share the new ball with him. Mohammed Siraj can fill up the third pace bowler slot and will have to bowl in the death overs. Yuzvendra Chahal will handle the spin bowling responsibilities along with Washington Sundar and Moeen Ali.
Predicted Playing XI: Parthiv Patel, Moeen Ali, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Shimron Hetmyer, Shivam Dube, Washington Sunder/Pawan Negi, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj
Overseas players: Moeen Ali, AB de Villiers, Shimron Hetmyer, Tim Southee