Virat Kohli, IPL 2018, MS Dhoni, Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore
It’s Virat Kohli vs MS Dhoni © AFP/IANS

In Match 24 of ongoing VIVO IPL 2018, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) play host to table-toppers Chennai Super Kings (CSK). With just two victories from five encounters, Virat Kohli-led side have a huge task in hand to stop a rampant CSK line-up who are unearthing a different match winner with every passing game. RCB’s spirited victory versus Delhi Daredevils (DD) on Saturday would hold them in good stead, but the challenge will be to restrict CSK’s tall batting lineup on a batting paradise.

RCB are facing similar woes which have haunted them since the past few years. Yes, they have the calibre of Brendon McCullum, Quinton de Kock, Kohli and AB de Villiers to chase down any total, but their varied bowling line-up haven’t impressed for long periods. Strangely, they have two bowlers — Umesh Yadav and Chris Woakes — in the top five wicket-takers’ list but have failed collectively to curtail the run-flow. With Chinnaswamy’s track coming back to its own, i.e. akin for run making, RCB again look like a star-studded batting side. However, the likes of McCullum and de Kock are yet to take the current edition by storm. Will Moeen Ali and Colin de Grandhomme play?

CSK, on the other hand, have been pushed to a corner but managed to get out of woods in absolute every victory attained so far. With Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni in good nick, the onus will be on them. The smaller boundaries should help their cause too. It would be interesting to see who will be CSK’s spinners depending on Imran Tahir’s fitness, and knowing the shorter dimensions of the ground.

The use of spinners will determine which side walks away with victory. In this aspect, Kohli has failed in completing his best spinner’s, from past two encounters, full quota of overs. Will better sense prevail?

Royal Challengers Bangalore likely XI

Quinton de Kock (wk), Mandeep Singh, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Moeen Ali, Washington Sundar, Chris Woakes, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini

Chennai Super Kings likely XI

Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Sam Billings, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh/Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar

Predictions

The head-to-head record, present form and knack of winning crucial moments gives CSK a certain advantage. On the other hand, RCB are too reliant on Kohli-ABD to rescue them on each encounter. Expect a run-fest with some big names taking on each other. This won’t be easy for RCB!