IPL 2019 Match Preview: M25 – RR VS CSK: The Super Kings will play the first in a series of four consecutive away matches when they take on Rajasthan Royals in Match 25 of VIVO IPL 2019.
CSK have five wins from six matches and are placed at the top of the standings, while the Rajasthan Royals languish closer to the floor of the table. The Royals have just one win from their five matches, and desperately need to turn around their season.
The only team the Rajasthan Royals have defeated so far is the one below them in the standings – the winless Royal Challengers Bangalore; even in that match, RR prevailed with one ball to spare. In their most recent outing – against Kolkata Knight Riders at home, the Royals batsmen struggled to come to terms with the wicket and crawled to 139-3, which the visitors chased down in 13.5 overs.
The Royals have problems to address – a few of them, and they need to address them immediately – before the majority of their World Cup-bound overseas players pack up. Skipper Ajinkya Rahanewas expected to be the anchor of the team’s batting, but he has managed 124 runs in five hits – 70 of those coming in one knock against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Sanju Samson, who scored the first hundred of the season, has missed the last couple of matches because of injury. Ben Stokes has had a disappointing season with both bat and ball.
On the bowling front, the leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal is among the top wicket-takers this season, but there has been little from the rest. The Rajasthan Royals’ pace bowling attack has the poorest economy rate among all the teams; even someone as experienced as Stokes has been taken for 10.84 runs per over, while the new ball bowler Dhawal Kulkarni has conceded runs at 9.65 rpo.
The Chennai Super Kings have ten points on the board despite not playing their best cricket. The Super Kings’ management must be worried about Ambati Rayudu’s form, and need to plan extensively to cover for the injury to Dwayne Bravo. MS Dhoni and co. have excelled playing at home – even if the conditions haven’t been to their complete liking; they now face the challenge of having to adapt – team combination-wise and strategy-wise – to the different conditions they will find on the road.
Krishnappa Gowtham has not been effective for the Royals this season, accounting for just one wicket in five games. It will be interesting to see if Mahipal Lomror gets a look in. Sudhesan Midhun was picked last game and he could be given a run despite conceding 27 runs in two overs, unless the pitch warrants an extra pacer. Jaydev Unadkat has missed out since he leaked 54 runs against CSK and he is unlikely to return against the same opponents.
Probable XI: Ajinkya Rahane (c), Jos Buttler (wk), Steven Smith, Rahul Tripathi, Ben Stokes, Prashant Chopra, Krishnappa Gowtham/Mahipal Lomror, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Sudhesan Midhun, Dhawal Kulkarni
Chennai Super Kings
The holders are likely to change their winning combination.
Probable XI: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Scott Kuggeleijn, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir