Chennai lost to Delhi Capitals rather comprehensively before coming back strongly against Punjab Kings (PBKS). As for RR, they recovered well from a heartbreak against PBKS to overcome Delhi Capitals (DC) in another tense finish.
For CSK, Deepak Chahar gave an excellent account of himself in the previous encounter, ripping apart the Punjab top-order. Chahar’s success was no surprise as he has mostly delivered when the conditions have been in his favour. Although the other bowlers weren’t under a lot of pressure owing to Chahar’s brilliance, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja and Sam Curran did well to impress. Jadeja was spectacular in the field as well. Shardul Thakur hasn’t been at his best. So that is one area CSK would like to cover.
The batsmen really did not have much to do in the previous game. But, CSK would want Ruturaj Gaikwad to get among the runs after a couple of failures. They would, however, be pleased with the form Moeen Ali has shown. The England all-rounder was among the runs in both games and has chipped in with the ball as well. Suresh Raina and Faf du Plessis have also spent decent amount of time at the crease in the first and second game respectively.
Rajasthan have had two cliff-hangers in their short campaign so far. Their skipper Sanju Samson was sensational with a 63-ball 119 in the team’s first game against Punjab. They still fell short although perilously close. Then they lost Ben Stokes to injury. Against Delhi, it all seemed to be going downhill with the top-order perishing cheaply in a chase. David Miller, however, kept the hopes alive with a steady half-century before IPL 2021’s most expensive buy, Chris Morris, pulled off a heist with four sixes at the death.
While the worries with the batting remain, they are beginning to form an impressive pace bowling line-up. Jayadev Unadkat was unplayable against Delhi, newcomer Chetan Sakariya has impressed most while Mustafizur Rahman has also chipped in with the goods. It remains to be seen whether they will go back to Shreyas Gopal, who was pedestrian against Punjab or remain pace-heavy.
CSK: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf Du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (C & WK), Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar
RR: Jos Buttler, Manan Vohra, Sanju Samson (C & WK), Shivam Dube, David Miller, Riyan Parag, Chris Morris, Rahul Tewatia, Jayadev Unadkat, Chetan Sakariya, Mustafizur Rahman
--Renin Wilben Albert