Royals appear to be returning to winning ways against table toppers CSK

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By Webdesk


Big picture: Royals are in danger of losing steam

For a long time, these two teams were not thought and talked about as the two finalists of the first IPL. Fifteen years later, midway through the 16th IPL, you think of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals as the top contenders because they’ve been so good.

Without making drastic personnel changes, CSK has become the most explosive team with the bat, even if they like to start out a bit conservative. Their tempo bowling is a bit thin, but they put up big totals to give them the cushion.

A grand total is what Royals drafted for CSK in their first encounter with this IPL, only for CSK to come within striking distance. Even though they may be among the top teams in the table, Royals are in danger of losing steam after losing their last two games.
In sharp focus will be Royals coin toss and Impact Player strategy. Their XIs did not depend on the coin toss. Last time they only named the five bowlers in their field-first XI, and didn’t have a good batsman in the substitutes when they needed one in the second innings.
Royals’ use of Jason Holder as a hitter also remains a mystery: he has hit just two balls in seven games and has been regularly sent behind R Ashwin. Needing 10 off two balls in the final match, with even Ashwin being rejected, they opted to send Abdul Basith, an IPL debutant with a top T20 score of 27, ahead of Holder.

(Last five matches, most recent first)

Rajasthan Royals LLWWW (8 points from 7 games)
Super kings of Chennai WWWLW (10 points from 7 matches)

Team news: Stokes and Chahar still unlikely

Before their final match, CSK coach Stephen Fleming had said that Ben Stokes had “another minor setback” on his road to recovery. Deepak Chahar is also unlikely to return to action any time soon.

Toss and Impact Player Strategy

The final game in Jaipur was played on a slow and low pitch where scoring was difficult. Assuming a similar pitch is on the horizon, Royals would want to include Adam Zampa in their plans, especially considering they’ve only used Holder as a specialist bowler.

Possibly XII: 1 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 2 Jos Butter, 3 Sanju Samson (capt. & wk), 4 Devdutt Padikkal, 5 Riyan Parag, 6 Shimron Hetmyer, 7 Dhruv Jurel, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Trent Boult, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Sandeep Sharma, 12 Adam Zampa/Jason Holder

CSK have had great success with a steady combination in the last three matches, but if the field is slow there could be a temptation to go in with Mitchell Santner instead of Matheesha Pathirana. Ambati Rayudu will remain the batter who does not field.

Possibly XII: 1 Devon Conway, 2 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 3 Ajinkya Rahane, 4 Moeen Ali, 5 Shivam Dube 6 Ambati Rayudu 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), 9 Matheesha Pathirana/ Mitchell Santner, 10 Tushar Deshpande, 11 Maheesh Theekshana, 12 Akash Singh

Even though the field is not as sluggish as it was in the first game in Jaipur, Sawai Mansingh Stadium historically has not been a high scoring venue. So don’t expect too many fireworks.



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