MS Dhoni (l) and Virat Kohli  © AFP
MS Dhoni (l) and Virat Kohli © AFP

Match 35 of the VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 will witness clash of the titans in Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). The match will be played at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune. CSK hold an edge in the South Indian derby, winning 14 out of 22 games in IPL, with one match ending in a washout. At neutral venue, MS Dhoni’s side is just ahead; winning 4 games and losing 3.

CSK were sloppy with their fielding against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), which irked Dhoni. It is important the young legs of the side cover for their more stiff teammates. Batting department is in safe hands with the likes of Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu and Shane Watson doing all the scoring. CSK will hope to see a fit Deepak Chahar at Pune, as he has been one of their most potent opening bowlers.

These are all or nothing games for RCB, given their precarious position in the points table. AB de Villiers’ return is massive boost for RCB ahead of crucial tie. Loss of Quinton de Kock is surely going to hinder their progress. Poor bowling has hurt Kohli but the form of Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Siraj has been heartening. RCB, for a change, bowled to a plan in order to restrict Mumbai Indians (MI) in their previous game. Kohli will hope for the same to continue.

Likely XIs

RCB XI: Brendon McCullum, Parthiv Patel (wk), AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli (c), Manan Vohra, Mandeep Singh, Colin de Grandhomme, Washington Sundar, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal

CSK XI: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Karn Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, KM Asif/Deepak Chahar, Lungi Ngidi

Predictions:

CSK will need to bring their ‘A’ game against RCB as they have nothing to lose. RCB can make things interesting in the points table spoiling parties for CSK, SRH and KXIP. The match is expected to be a high-scoring game given the track on offer at Pune this season.