Chennai Super Kings trounced Delhi by 93 runs in their previous match © IANS
By Devarchit Varma
Apr 22, 2014
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will aim to maintain their winning momentum when they take on the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the 10th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday. While Chennai are coming off from a huge win over the Delhi Daredevils, Rajasthan suffered a loss to the Kings XI Punjab in their previous clash.
The absence of their star all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, who was ruled out of the IPL 7 after suffering a shoulder injury came as a big blow to the two-time champions. Bravo was among the five players retained ahead of the IPL 2014 auction, and his absence robs them off a multidimensional player. Bravo’s injury has come at a wrong time as the Chennai Super Kings have just started to pick up and the challenge ahead of them would be to build on the winning momentum.
Both Chennai and Rajasthan played a game each this week. While Chennai Super Kings trounced the dangerous Delhi Daredevils by 93 runs, the Rajasthan Royals found it tough to survive against the challenge of Kings XI Punjab, and lost the match by seven wickets. Both these sides have lost a game each, but they have also registered a victory as well.
Chennai’s main strength lies in batting, and they would be aiming to put up a strong total or bank on their firepower in case they have to chase a target. Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith form a lethal opening pair, followed by Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja. The Super Kings would be hoping that their batsmen continue to flourish on the flat decks in Dubai.
The bowling looked a little fragile, which was evident in the clash against Punjab, when Chennai failed to defend a total in excess of 200. Dhoni would be pleased to see the way his bowlers bounced back, and handed them a big win in the last match. Dhoni used as many as six bowlers and all of them were among the wicket-takers. This would certainly give Chennai hope that the bowlers have started to find their rhythm.
Ravichandran Ashwin took two wickets in both the games, which indicates that he has maintained his rhythm. On the other hand, the Shane Watson-led Rajasthan Royals will aim to make amends after the disappointing loss in their previous game. Rajasthan have a unique strategy in this IPL with lot of their bowlers sending down slower deliveries. But the struggle against Punjab in the previous clash saw that their plans fell apart.
Rajasthan started off IPL 2014 with a hard-fought win over the Sunrisers Hyderabad, and stumbled to a loss in the second game. They haven’t yet produced an emphatic performance as Chennai did during the last match, and they will have to get their act together in case they have to get back to the winning ways.
Ajinkya Rahane continues to be a vital cog in the batting line-up, while Sanju Samson and Shane Watson would be responsible to garner the runs for the Rajasthan Royals. Their batsmen did a good job in the last game, but the bowlers were not consistent enough to keep the pressure on the Punjab batsmen. Rajasthan will have to look for different strategies with the ball as Chennai’s batting order can punish you if you get it wrong.
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.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Dwayne Bravo, 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.
Time: 20:00 IST | 14:30 GMT
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(Devarchit Varma is a reporter with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)