IPL 2013 Preview: Rajasthan Royals have stern test against Chennai Super Kings to keep their home record intact

Rajasthan Royals have mastered the conditions at Jaipur © IANS

By Sarang Bhalerao

Jaipur: May 11, 2013

Rajasthan Royals will be hosting Chennai Super Kings at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in the 61st match of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Royals will have a stern test to keep their citadel intact against the table-toppers Chennai Super Kings.

Royals have mastered the conditions at Jaipur. Their modus operandi has been picking the side suitable for the conditions. In the afternoon games, Rahul Dravid goes with extra spinning options while in the evening games he tends to have the cushion of the extra seamer. The other teams have been befuddled by Royals’ tactics since there is always an element of surprise in whatever the home team comes up every single time.

While bowling unit has synchronised well, the batting department is bolstered by the presence of the big three at the top. Dravid, Ajinkya Rahane and Shane Watson have been the lynchpins of the Royals batting department. Rahane’s role is of a grafter: one who bats till the end. The other batsmen around him take chances. This move has paid rich dividents. Dravid has shown tendency to take calculated chances at the start of his innings. Royals have been getting a good start [98 against Pune Warriors and 108 against Delhi Daredevils] which has paved an easy path for the middle order batsman. Watson, Brad Hodge and Stuart Binny batting at No 3, 4 and 5 respectively have the ability to win games on their own. Sanju Samson is a floater. He might come in to bat at three depending on the situation of the game.

Kevon Cooper has reaped rewards because of his changes of pace. James Faulkner and Siddharth Trivedi are wicket to wicket bowlers who rely on batsman making a mistake. In all probability S Sreesanth will get to play the game since his swing might prove to be handy in the evening game.

Chennai Super Kings are fresh from a 77-run victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Super Kings halted Hyderabad’s victory march at home and will be looking to impose the same fate upon Rajasthan. The top-order of Chennai is oozing with confidence. Murali Vijay played a cameo against Hyderabad. Michael Hussey-Suresh Raina alliance took the game away from Sunrisers. Raina especially is in red-hot form. He remained unbeaten on 99, and has already a century in the competition. One can never discount MS Dhoni’s ability with the bat.

Super Kings bowling has been big revelation. The spinners have been the wreckers-in-chief in the middle overs courtesy of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. The pace department comprising Christopher Morris and Dwayne Bravo have had success in the competition, Jason Holder probably is the weak link in the bowling but he gets a lot of steep bounce and he has played only a handful of games for the table toppers.
So expect a mouth-watering contest at Jaipur as both the teams have a lot to play for before the play-offs.

Teams:

Rajasthan Royals (Probable):  Rahul Dravid (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Shane Watson, Brad Hodge, Stuart Binny, Sanju Samson (wk), Kevon Cooper, James Faulkner, Ajit Chandila, Siddharth Trivedi, S Sreesanth.

Chennai Super Kings (Probable): Murali Vijay, Michael Hussey, Suresh Raina, Subramaniam Badrinath, MS Dhoni (c&wk), Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Albie Morkel, Jason Holder, Ravichandran Ashwin.

Time: 20.00 local | 14.30 GMT

(Sarang Bhalerao hails from a family of doctors, but did his engineering. He then dumped a career in IT with Infosys to follow his heart and passion and became a writer with CricketCountry. A voracious reader, Sarang aspires to beat Google with his knowledge of the game! You can follow him on Twitter here)