New Delhi: Team Chennai Super Kings, who have had a four-day break since their previous match, will take on the Rajasthan Royals in the match 17 of VIVO IPL 2018 at Pune today. Both teams have 4 points each, though the Rajasthan Royals have played one match more than CSK’s three.
Chennai Super Kings faced its first defeat of the Season against Kings XI Punjab after it failed to chase 197 runs. However, the management would be happy to see MS Dhoni’s return to form who stole the show by hitting unbeaten 79 runs out of 44 balls.
Suresh Raina sustained a calf muscle injury and missed a CSK game for the first time in 11 seasons. Dhoni hurt his back in the side’s last game against Kings XI Punjab. The fact that both Dhoni and Raina are likely to be fit for the match is a major boost for CSK.
Suresh Raina is a natural striker of the cricket ball, particularly in white ball cricket, and if he returns to the Chennai Super Kings line-up, he will be expected to make a big contribution. The spinners on both sides will have a huge role to play. RR’s three overseas batsmen have struggled against spin and they will be put to test by Harbhajan Singh, Ravindra Jadeja and Imran Tahir.
Rajasthan Royals, on the other hand, lost their last match against Kolkata Knight Riders as a cautious start proved to be its biggest mistake. D’Arcy Short has failed to find his touch and scored 44 runs off 43 balls against KKR, putting extra pressure on the middle-order. Moreover, Rajasthan Royals’ bowling unit has failed to perform as a unit and Ajinkya Rahane would be hoping for an improved performance from Jaydev Unadkat and Dhawal Kulkarni.
The RR captain has used his spinners K Gowtham and Shreyas Gopal extremely well; between them, the Karnataka pair has picked up the key wickets in the opposition. In the Rajasthan Royals line-up, Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson have stolen the limelight from under D’Arcy Short, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler, who were expected to destroy a few bowler’s reputations this season.
Suresh Raina will have the opportunity of getting back to the top of the list of the top run-getters in the IPL; Virat Kohli currently sits atop the list with 4619 runs, while Raina is 61 behind with an aggregate of 4619 runs.
Team Head to Head
Overall: Matches – 17, CSK won – 11, RR won – 6
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni(c), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, Kanishk Seth, Lungi Ngidi, Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, N Jagadeesan.
Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane (C), Ankit Sharma, Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jofra Archer, D’Arcy Short, Dushmantha Chameera, Stuart Binny, Shreyas Gopal, S Midhun, Jaydev Unadkat, Ben Laughlin, Prashant Chopra, Krishnappa Gowtham, Mahipal Lomror, Jatin Saxena, Anureet Singh, Aryaman Birla, Jos Buttler, Heinrich Klaasen, Zahir Khan and Rahul Tripathi.
The match starts at 8 PM IST.