IPL 2019: Predicted overseas players for CSK and RCB in the opening game
IPL 2019 will start a few weeks early in Chennai, with the first game to be held this Saturday. The action begins with the South Indian derby, as defending champions Chennai Super Kings will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opening match.
The CSK players have arrived in Chennai and are set to start practice ahead of their first game. Chennai have a great record against Bangalore, having won the last six games in the IPL. Bangalore last won an IPL game against CSK way back in 2014.
Virat Kohli would love to end the losing streak on 23rd March 2019. And this is also one of the clashes most fans would love to see in every IPL, not only because of the rivalry but also because it is a clash between the former Indian captain MS Dhoni and the current Indian captain Kohli.
Picking the right four overseas players is key for each team. Both CSK and RCB are blessed with some great overseas players, and here's a look at the four players likely to take the field for each team in the opening game.
#1 CSK batsmen: Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis
Shane Watson had a great time last season and scored over 550 runs for the team. He scored two centuries, including the match winning one in the final.
Watson is expected to play for CSK in most of the games this season. He is not playing international cricket, and so will be fresh and raring to go in the opening game.
The Australian all-rounder also can chip in with the ball to cover the fifth bowling option for the team.
Chennai has two options to draft in an overseas batsman in the middle order - South African captain Faf du Plessis and English batsman Sam Billings. However, Dhoni would like Chennai go with Du Plessis as he is fresh from his recent good outing against Sri Lanka.
Du Plessis has had a good success rate for CSK in the past seasons. Hence, he is likely to be picked over Billings.
#2. CSK bowlers: Dwayne Bravo and Mitchell Santner
Dwayne Bravo has been an integral part of Chennai over the last few seasons. He played an amazing innings for CSK in the 2018 opening game, pulling off a victory out of nowhere against Mumbai Indians.
Bravo has been the purple cap winner twice in the past for the Chennai-based franchise. He is also an excellent athlete in the field and has taken some great catches over the years.
Bravo is the perfect all-rounder to have in the team, and his experience would help them in their bid to defend the title this season.
New Zealand spinner Mitchell Santner had been ruled out of the squad due to injury in last season. However, he is making a comeback this year and is expected to be picked over Imran Tahir as he can chip with the bat during the slog overs.
The Chennai track would suit Santner too. Hence, we can expect him in the playing XI for the opening game against Royal Challengers Bangalore.