Pravin Tambe could have a major role to play in the match played at Ranchi © PTI
Rajasthan Royals have a knack of pulling off upset victories © PTI

 

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

 

May 12, 2014

 

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) are among the leading teams at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014. They have been dominant forces, and overcoming them has been a task for the other teams. But when they face off, it is bound to be a good contest as these sides will try to get the better of each other. Chennai won their previous encounter, but only just. Rajasthan have now picked up momentum and they would be a more dangerous side.

 

This game is at the JSCA International Stadium, Ranchi. It is a surface that helps spin, and one can expect good performances from that department. On this surface, Pravin Tambe, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja may have a bigger impact on the fortunes of the game. Chennai would of course know this surface better, as this is their home game.

 

The interesting thing is that both sides have very settled units and they may only make changes if needed. It seems as if Rajasthan rotate between Kane Richardson and Tim Southee. Even Dhawal Kulkarni comes into the side from time to time. In the last game, Chennai brought in Samuel Badree and dropped Ben Hilfenhaus. However, Badree had a poor game and there may be a possibility that Chennai may bring in someone else.

 

Chennai have no worries as far as their batting is concerned. Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith form a formidable opening combination. Suresh Raina and Faf Du Plessis give solidity and punch in the middle along with MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja. With Hilfenhaus out, Ishwar Pandey and Mohit Sharma have to play a bigger role in the seam bowling department.

 

Rajasthan have a solid top order in Ajinkya Rahane and Karun Nair. Shane Watson and Sanju Samson also come in to provide good strength. But, now, there would be a lot of focus on the middle order particularly after their performance in the last game against Royal Challengers. James Faulkner and Steven Smith now provide that extra bit in the batting and that is good for Rajasthan.

 

On paper, Chennai are stronger and should be favoured to win. But, don’t count Rajasthan out as they are used to pulling off surprises.

 

Teams:

 

Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina, Francois du Plessis, Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum, Ashish Nehra, Mohit Sharma, Ishwar Pandey, Ben Hilfenhaus, John Hastings, Samuel Badree, Matt Henry, Mithun Manhas, Vijay Shankar, Ronit More, Baba Aparajith, Pawan Negi.

 

Rajasthan Royals: Shane Watson (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Brad Hodge, Sanju Samson, Stuart Binny, Ankush Bains, James Faulkner, Pravin Tambe, Kevon Cooper, Unmukt Chand, Steven Smith, Ben Cutting, Deepak Hooda, Iqbal Abdullah, Karun Nair, Vikramjeet Malik, Abhishek Nayar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Kane Richardson, Dishant Yagnik (wk), Tim Southee, Rahul Tewatia, Ankit Sharma, Amit Mishra.

 

Time: 16:00 IST | 10:30 GMT

 

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(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)