Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) clash in the penultimate match of the eighth edition Indian Premier League (IPL) with the winner qualifying for the final against Mumbai Indians (MI) on Sunday. CSK finished as the table toppers in the league stages, while RCB stood third.

In the match that will be played at Ranchi, Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli will be the key to their side’s fortunes. Raina and Kohli are the backbone of Indian batting in limited-overs cricket and have tasted several victories together while donning the blue jersey. However in IPL, both the North Indian lads are fierce foes – playing for two top South Indian sides. They are amongst the few cricketers who have been retained by their respective franchises since the league’s inception in 2008.

Kohli, RCB’s skipper was picked up by the franchise immediately after he returned India victorious from the under-19 World Cup in 2008. He has been the side’s key batsman since then and took over from Daniel Vettori as the captain in 2012. Kohli has been in good touch lately, scoring 493 runs so far in this year’s IPL. With 3125 runs, he also is fifth in the list of highest run-getters in IPL history. Playing for RCB, Kohli enjoys the luxury of batting alongside the likes of Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers but in a crunch match like this, the team will look for the captain to anchor the ship.

On the other hand, Raina who has been with CSK since the start, has scored 400-plus runs in all the first seven seasons and is 54 short of the landmark in the ongoing edition. CSK will hope he gets that tonight as CSK doesn’t enjoy the batting luxury that RCB possesses and much of their fortunes depend on how Raina delivers. Also, with an in-form Brendon McCullum unavailable, there’s extra pressure on Raina. The southpaw, who is IPL’s most consistent batsman, hasn’t been in the best of nicks. He is the highest run-getter in the IPL history and has a reputation of rising to the big occasions like tonight’s.

CSK against RCB can be termed as the battle of these two Indian batting giants and how they fare may determine tonight’s result. Here’s a comparison on how these two have fared in IPL over the years.

Designed by Srushti Takale
Designed by Srushti Takale | Infographics by Suvajit Mustafi

(Suvajit Mustafi consumes cricket for lunch, fiction for dinner and munches numerous other snacks throughout the day. Yes, a jack of several trades, all Suvajit dreamt of was being India’s World Cup winning skipper but ended up being a sports writer, author, screenwriter, director, copywriter, graphic designer, sportsmarketer , strategist, entrepreneur,  philosopher and traveller. Donning so many hats, it’s cricket which gives him the ultimate high and where he finds solace. He can be followed at @RibsGully and rivu7)