CSK and RR occupy the top two places in the IPL 2015 table © IANS
CSK and RR occupy the top two places in the IPL 2015 table © IANS

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) will be desperate for a win as they clash in the 47th match of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 tournament, at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday. The last time when these two sides had clashed in IPL 2015, Rajasthan were on top of their performance and had easily smashed the Chennai Super Kings by a margin of eight wickets, but this time around, CSK look far more comfortable than RR. IPL 2015: Stephen Felming believes Chennai Super Kings paid the price of dropping catches against Mumbai Indians

Both Chennai and Rajasthan are sitting at the first two spots in the points table of the IPL 2015 with 14 points in 11 and 12 matches respectively.  But, in a tournament where the other teams outside the top four are increasingly making life difficult for the others, CSK and RR need to be assured of their position.

Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals are coming off losses. While Chennai Super Kings’ unbeaten run was ended by the Mumbai Indians on Friday night, who registered their fifth consecutive win, the Rajasthan Royals are coming off a seven-run loss in a high-scoring clash against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. MS Dhoni served notice by Jharkhand State Housing Board: Reports

An area where Chennai can dominate Rajasthan is that the team under Shane Watson is not very comfortable while chasing targets in excess of 180, and MS Dhoni’s men would like to make most of this shortcoming of the Royals. Chasing 202 to win, Rajasthan were never comfortable in their pursuit but did well to keep the margin of loss to only seven runs, as any big margin would have had adverse effect on their Net Run Rate.

For Chennai, the form of Suresh Raina, Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum will be very crucial. The top three batsmen have done well but the others, especially Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja, who occupy crucial spots in the lower-order, have not done much in IPL 2015 and this is where Rajasthan can think there chances are strong. Steven Smith says Rajasthan Royals’ bowlers, fielders let them down against Sunriers

Ajinkya Rahane is the top-run scorer in the IPL 2015 with 438 runs, and the good run which the other batsmen have had in this tournament will boost Rajasthan’s hopes in the later stages of the tournament. Rajasthan will hope that their batsmen continue to do the good work, but their problems lie elsewhere.

The team under Watson has been simply pathetic when it comes to bowling in the death. Time and again the opposition teams have exposed Rajasthan’s weakness in this department and the solutions are still not available. Steven Smith confident of performing well in closing stages of IPL 2015

Contrastingly, Chennai Super Kings boast of two excellent bowlers in their ranks who have been simply brilliant in this season. The Purple Cap holder Ashish Nehra and the No. 2 in the list of most wicket-taking bowlers, Dwayne Bravo ensure that Chennai win a lot of games, even though their batsmen do not manage daunting totals.

Rajasthan’s strong point lies in their batting, while Chennai, as of now, are performing on an all-round basis. With the other teams such as Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore breathing down their neck, making their life troublesome, both Rajasthan and Chennai will have to ensure that there is no more slip up. Dhawal Kulkarni credits Shaun Pollock, Shane Wason for his growth as fast bowler

On paper, Chennai look stronger and favourites to win because they will be playing at their home ground, Chepauk, and would like to bounce back from the loss to Mumbai. The Rajasthan Royals, on the other hand, will have to get their act together as they are rapidly losing the benefit and momentum gained early on in IPL 2015.

Squads:

Chennai Super Kings (CSK): MS Dhoni (c&wk), Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ashish Nehra, Ishwar Pandey, Mohit Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Ankush Bains, Baba Parajith, Rahul Sharma, Mithun Manhas, Pawan Negi, Kyle Abbott, Andrew Tye, Ronit More, Pratyush Singh, Samuel Badree, Eklavya Dwivedi, Matt Henry.

Rajasthan Royals (RR): Shane Watson (c), Abhishek Nayar, Ajinkya Rahane, Ankit Nagendra Sharma, Ben Cutting, Deepak Hooda, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dishant Yagnik, James Faulkner, Kane Richardson, Karun Nair, Pravin Tambe, Rahul Tewatia, Rajat Bhatia, Sanju Samson (wk), Steven Smith, Stuart Binny, Tim Southee, Vikramjeet Malik, Chris Morris, Juan Theron, Barinder Singh Saran, Dinesh Salunkhe, Sagar Trivedi, Pardeep Sahu.

TIME: 14.30 GMT | 20.00 IST

(Devarchit Varma is a reporter with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)