CSK at home at the Wankhede Stadium
Playing several of their matches at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai may not be that bad a result for Chennai Super Kings, who have found it tough to go big at their home ground in Chennai over the last couple of years.
Not only does the Wankhede Stadium provide a true batting strip to Chennai's big hitters like Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni, the early swing on offer due to the sea breeze also helps their bowlers extract the most out of the conditions.
Chahar to star for CSK?
The opening spells of both Deepak Chahar and Sam Curran were a delight to watch in CSK's last encounter against Punjab Kings. The result was that they had Punjab down at 26 for 5 from 6.2 overs and never let the foot off the PBKS' throat.
Chahar bowled out early and gave away just 13 runs from his four overs while picking up 4 wickets and bowling one maiden. Apart from Shardul Thakur, all other CSK bowlers were quite economical.
Lungi Ngidi is available for selection
Ruturaj Gaikwad has now had two failures at the top of the order but his good performances towards the end of the last season ensure that he has enough credit points in his bank.
Having undergone a 7-day quarantine, Lungi Ngidi is available for selection, but CSK are expected to stick with their combination of Sam Curran and Dwayne Bravo, both of whom have done a fine job in the competition till now.
Morris and Miller to take up slack with Stokes out through injury
If you were betting on who would take up the wicket taking and run making hole that Ben Stokes has left, having been ruled out of IPL 2021, then the cricket betting odds would be on Miller and Morris. Rajasthan Royals had no option but to slot back Jos Buttler at the top of the order. But, the way David Miller played in his first match of IPL 2021, smashing a brilliant half-century in no time and in difficult conditions, it bodes well for the franchise.
Morris also repaid the faith of the team management and the owners by smacking 4 sixes in a match-winning knock against Delhi Capitals in the last match as he raced to an unbeaten 36 off just 18 deliveries at a strike rate of 200 and took Rajasthan over the line by three wickets.
Saurashtra's Sakariya and Unadkat take the new ball
In Chetan Sakariya and Jaydev Unadkat, Rajasthan have found a good Indian pace bowling combination. Chris Morris and Mustafizur Rahman have done a fine job with the ball as well.
That said, on paper, CSK look stronger at the moment.
Here are the probable playing XIs:
Chennai Super Kings - Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Moeen Ali, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar
Rajasthan Royals - Manan Vohra, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson (c & wk), David Miller, Riyan Parag, Shivam Dube, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Jaydev Unadkat, Chetan Sakariya, Mustafizur Rahman