IPL 2018, CSK vs RCB: Must-win battle for resurgent Bangalore

first_imgChennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday in the Indian Premier League (IPL) is going to be a lot more than just a clash between two of India’s biggest cricketing superstars – MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli.While CSK hope to get back to the winning mode after suffering two defeats in their last three games, the clash is a must-win encounter for RCB if they have to stay alive in the tournament and qualify for the play-offs.RCB are in the fifth spot, having won three of their eight matches. CSK are still in a comfortable position in second position with six wins from nine games.The yellow brigade seems to have settled down well in its adopted home and has lost only to the Mumbai Indians here after shifting base after their first game in Chennai.But that comprehensive eight-wicket defeat against MI on April 28 followed by the six-wicket hammering by the Kolkata Knight Riders Thursday night has shown chinks in the CSK armour, especially in bowling.The Chennai batsmen are on song and most are among runs with Ambati Rayudu, Australian Shane Watson, West Indian Dwayne Bravo, skipper Dhoni and Suresh Raina contributing when the team needed. Rayudu, especially, has batted well both as an opener and at number four, scoring 391 runs so far.If CSK decide to continue with South African Faf Du Plessis and Watson at the top, then Rayadu will again bat down the order.Dhoni, who remained unbeaten on Friday, has reminded his critics that he is not past his prime and if he hits those towering sixes again against RCB, it will pose a danger to Kohli’s attack.advertisementChennai bowlers had been generally impressive with Shardul Thakur at the top. But in their defeats against MI and even on Friday, the bowling attack could not defend the scores put up by their batters and appears to be missing the services of injured Deepak Chahar.The pacers and the spinners led by veteran Harbhajan Singh need to play to potential to restrict a devastating RCB batting line-up, spearheaded by Kohli.RCB too have some batting woes to overcome with only Kohli performing consistently, amassing 449 runs in nine matches.South African batsman AB de Villiers, who has scored 280 runs in six games, has been declared fit for the match after missing out on last two games due to fever.These two batsmen are crucial to RCB’s hopes. They also require Brendon McCullum (122 runs in 5 games), who is yet to play to his potential, to chip in. Quinton de Kock will miss out on the game as they he has travelled back to South Africa to attend a wedding.Even the likes of Mandeep Singh (204 runs in 8 matches) and Kiwi Colin de Grandhomme (45 runs in 3 matches), will need to get going if the CSK bowlers are to be tamed.RCB’s primary headache has been their death bowling as they have leaked runs in this phase.Umesh Yadav (11 wickets) and Yuzvendra Chahal (7 wickets) have stamped their class, but Mohammad Siraj and Washington Sunder (four wickets) have performed below par.RCB also have the option to play veteran Kiwi pacer Tim Southee in place of his compatriot Corey Anderson.Scores of over 160 have been a regular phenomenon at the stadium in Gahunje on the city’s outskirts and with two strong batting line-ups squaring off, another high-scoring thriller is on the cards.Teams (from):Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (C), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, KM Asif, Kanishk Seth, Lungi Ngidi, Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, N Jagadeesan, David Willey.Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (Captain), Quinton de Kock, Brendon McCullum, AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Chris Woakes, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Colin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali, Pawan Negi, Mohammed Siraj, Corey Anderson, Parthiv Patel, Tim Southee.(With PTI inputs)last_img

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