Chennai Super Kings (CSK), who beat defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) in their first match of the 13th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), will face Rajasthan Royals in their second match today. CSK, captained by Mahendra Singh Dhoni (MS Dhoni), will try its best to win the second match as well. This is the Royals’ first match of the season under the leadership of Steve Smith and they too would like to start with a win.
Looking at Chennai’s performance against Mumbai, the team management of the Royals would definitely want something extra from their players as CSK have so far dominated every season of the IPL and this time they have got a great start. For Chennai, Ambati Rayudu (71) and Faf du Plessis (58 not out) had won the team playing excellent innings.
Rayudu and du Plessis took over the team even after the shaking by Mumbai bowlers in the early overs and Mumbai bowlers were not allowed to walk under UAE conditions. Murali Vijay and Shane Watson had started the innings against Mumbai but both were dismissed early.
Sam Karan was promoted by Dhoni and Karan also justified him by scoring 18 runs off 6 balls. Chennai’s batting seems stable, so the bowlers did not disappoint in the first match and kept taking wickets at regular intervals. Chennai bowlers ensured that Mumbai could not score big and who played a big role in Chennai’s five-wicket win.
Piyush Chawla may not be considered important in the Chennai team but used his experience in this 31-year-old leg-spinner and bowled brilliantly and took just one wicket, spending just 21 runs in 4 overs. Likewise Lungi Gidi, Ravindra Jadeja and Deepak Chahar also played their role when needed, but Chennai’s team management would clearly want the trio not to score runs as in the first match.
Talking of Royals, he has never won a trophy except for the first season of IPL 2008. Looking at the 2020 season, the Royals have brought some big T20 players to their team. With Robin Uthappa, Shreyas Gopal and Varun Aaron, the royals have tried to create a good mix of youth and experience, along with youngsters Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ryan Parag and Karthik Tyagi.
Along with Ben Stokes and Smith, the Royals have added some top level players. However, Stokes is not sure about playing in the first match. The Royals will expect opener Jose Butler to continue his form of the 2019 IPL this season as well. Last season, Butler scored 311 runs in eight matches. Butler if he gets the support of Sanju Samson, he can lead the team to a big score.
The biggest concern for the Royals’ team management will not be Stokes, who is currently with his father in New Zealand and when he will arrive, the situation is still unclear. The team will depend to a large extent on Stokes and the sooner they join the team, the better it will be for them.
The team has good bowling options under Joffra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat, Varun Aaron, Ankit Rajput, Rahul Tewatia, Mayank Markande, Oshane Thomas and Andrew Tye. Much will depend on how quickly these people adjust to the UAE situation. Chennai’s table has definitely been heavy when viewed past matches between these two teams. Chennai have won 14 of the total 21 matches between the two teams, and the remaining matches have been won by the Royals.
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