Defending champions Chennai Super Kings will look to continue their unbeaten run when they square the field with the Rajasthan Royals at the M.A.Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday, March 31, in their next IPL match.
Head to Head Overall Stats: Both franchises have shared the field in 20 IPL matches, with the Chennai leading the scoreline at 12-8.
Head to Head in MA Chidambaram (Chepauk) Stadium: Dhoni's men have hosted the Royals on six occasions and dominate the head-to-head score by winning five of those.
Pitch Report: The Chepauk Curator presented a slow and spinning track for the tournament opener. So, the batsmen need to be a little more conscious during the play.
Chennai Super Kings Perspective
The Kings are asserting a divine run of form and currently are on a five-match winning streak. Meanwhile, Chepauk is CSK's unbreakable fort and having lost just one out of last 10 fixtures here.
Key Players - Shane Watson, Suresh Raina & Ambati Rayudu
Shane Watson powered the run chase in the last game by scoring 44 runs off just 26 balls and was joined by Suresh Raina with a rapid 30 from 16 balls, and these two are likely to continue against the Royals.
While CSK also boasts strong middle order in MS Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu and Ravindra Jadeja, and in case the top order fails, they have enough firepower to get the team over the victory line.
Key Players - Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir & Deepak Chahar
The bowling unit is doing incredible work for the CSK. Where Tahir and Harbhajan led the charts in the tournament opener, Dwayne Bravo picked the pace against Delhi Capitals and snared three match-defining wickets in Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant and Colin Ingram, and these three along with Deepak Chahar are most likely to trouble the Royals.
Expected Playing XI
Harbhajan Singh, Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo, MS Dhoni (C & WK), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur
Rajasthan Royals Perspective
On the flip side, the Royals are finding it difficult to get over the line. They threw away all the initial advantage garnered by openers in the opening fixture and then failed to defend 199 in the second game.
Key Players - Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler & Ajinkya Rahane
Sanju Samson scored the first century of IPL 2019 of just 55 balls, but his brilliant effort went in vain as RR fails to defend the massive total, and shared a 114 run second wicket stand with skipper Ajinkya Rahane (70 runs from 49 balls) to set the tone for the mega total.
Jos Buttler faced a rare failure last time out, and he will itching to get a big one against the Kings. Except him. Steve Smith and Ben Stokes are other experienced campaigners in the lineup, that can hold the innings in case of early hiccups.
Key Players - Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer & Ben Stokes
Shreyas Gopal displayed a magnificent effort to claim 3-27 in his four overs. While Ben Stokes also took his wickets tally to three after claiming Warner's wicket and the skipper will need these two to exert their dominance early.
Meanwhile, Jaydev Unadkat also snared a wicket and was quite an economical last time and he along with Jofra Archer will be expected to assert their best against Chennai.
Expected Playing XI
Ajinkya Rahane (C), Dhawal Kulkarni, Steven Smith, Jos Buttler (WK), Jaydev Unadkat, Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson, Krishnappa Gowtham, Rahul Tripathi, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra ArcherPublished 30 Mar 2019, 21:22 IST