Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has picked the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) as the likely winner in their clash against the Rajasthan Royals (RR) today. He made this prediction while previewing the encounter between the finalists of the inaugural IPL in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
"The good news for Rajasthan Royals is that Steve Smith is available. But bad news is that Ben Stokes is not."
The renowned commentator hoped that Rajasthan Royals would give Yashasvi Jaiswal an opportunity to bat at the top of the order, with other Indian youngsters like Sanju Samson and Riyan Parag holding fort in the middle order.
"I want Yashasvi Jaiswal to open the batting with Jos Buttler for them. They will be followed by Sanju Samson, Steve Smith, Robin Uthappa and Riyan Parag."
Aakash Chopra observed that he was unsure of the fourth overseas player Rajasthan Royals could field in their playing XI, and suggested that they could go for Tom Curran if the pitch has assistance for the seamers.
"I am a little 50-50 about the fourth overseas player, probably Tom Curran if the pitch has little assistance."
The 43-year-old mentioned that Jofra Archer and Shreyas Gopal are likely to lead Rajasthan Royals' pace and spin attacks respectively, while pointing out that the franchise's Indian seam bowlers are not that potent a threat for the opposition.
"Jofra Archer will be there but what about the others. Their overseas fast bowling department is good but Indian attack is average. If we talk about the spinners, then a lot of eyes will be focussed on Shreyas Gopal."
While talking about the Chennai Super Kings, Aakash Chopra reckoned that the franchise could go in with an additional bowler in their playing XI.
"There is not much scope of a change in the Chennai Super Kings lineup. Probably they may want to go in with 6 bowlers instead of the five they fielded in the first match."
He elaborated that MS Dhoni could opt to get an extra bowler in place of Murali Vijay, with Ambati Rayudu pushed up to open the innings.
"MS Dhoni might think about that because if he can send Ravindra Jadeja a little up the order, they can open with Rayudu instead of Murali Vijay, Kedar will get to bat and Dhoni can bat up the order and Sam Curran is also batting well. So they can add Shardul Thakur or another spinner, which they have plenty of."
Aakash Chopra on the player battle to look forward to in the Chennai Super Kings-Rajasthan Royals encounter
Aakash Chopra picked the contest between Jofra Archer and MS Dhoni as the player battle to watch out for in the match between Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings. He made this choice considering that both of them are likely to be plying their trade towards the latter stages of the CSK batting innings.
"The player battle to watch out for will be Jofra Archer vs MS Dhoni. They will keep some overs of Jofra Archer for MS Dhoni. And in any case, the phase Dhoni comes into bat, you get Jofra Archer bowling by default. So that will be an interesting contest."
Aakash Chopra signed off by picking Chennai Super Kings as the probable winner in their clash against Rajasthan Royals today, but added that the latter have a good roster and will not be mere pushovers.
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"I think Chennai Super Kings is going to win this contest. Rajasthan Royals is a good team, let's expect a good contest."
Apart from the absence of Ben Stokes, Rajasthan Royals are likely to be without the services of Jos Buttler in their tournament opener against Chennai Super Kings, with the England wicket-keeper-batsman serving his quarantine period. They might opt to open with Robin Uthappa in such a scenario and include David Miller in their playing XI to beef up their middle order.
Published 22 Sep 2020, 12:10 IST