RCB vs CSK: It is the battle of the firsts vs the lasts in match 39 of the IPL. A formidable and dominant Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will face a struggling Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, in Bengaluru.
Chennai Super Kings, though had a rare disappointing previous match, will look to officially seal their entry into the playoffs. While Royal Challengers Bangalore, coming in afresh with a win, would like to continue their winning momentum.
CSK and RCB opened this season’s IPL, as they clashed with each other in the opening match. Ever since, both the teams had a contrasting season. While CSK is most likely set to become the first team to enter the playoffs, RCB is struggling to keep itself relevant in the tournament. RCB now have a herculean task ahead of them, as they have to win all the games to keep their playoffs’ hopes alive.
IN PREVIOUS GAMES
However, RCB might have found their form just in time, with skipper Virat Kohli scoring a magnificent century to Dale Steyn reinforcing their pace attack. The result of which is their emphatic win against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Friday. RCB comfortably defeated KKR, despite the carnage from Andre Russel. With their confidence high in the sky, RCB would want to bank on this and look to deliver the same against the CSK.
The defending champions, on the other hand, had to stay on the losing side in their previous match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). This was their 2nd loss from the 9 games they played so far. The reason for their defeat might as well be the lack of the MSD factor. MS Dhoni had to be rested, due to a stiff back.
RCB, though high on confidence, will be wary of the fact that their game against the mighty CSK will not be so easy. While RCB heavily relies on their star players, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and now Dale Steyn, to deliver, CSK is a pure team game. The fact that no batsman from CSK features in the top 15 contenders for the Orange Cap itself testifies it. So RCB should focus on all departments and ensure everyone delivers, rather than making it a fight of the Big 3 vs Team CSK.
Chennai Super Kings have won the majority of the 24 games they played against Royal Challengers Bangalore. The two teams have faced each other 24 times so far, out of which Chennai Super Kings have won 16 and RCB had just 7 wins to their name. The difference in winning ratio reduces greatly when comparing the stats specifically at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. CSK have won 4 games, while RCB have won 3, out of the total 8 games played in Bangalore’s home ground.
The pitch at the Chinnaswamy is expected to be a batting paradise. The recent 3 games at Chinnaswamy stadium have seen an average score of 178 runs. The highest score at the pitch in this franchise of the IPL stands at 205 runs and the lowest is 149. Hence, the team batting first will need to put a score, which is north of 180 to be in the game; anything less may be a herculean task to defend.
The atmosphere in Bangalore is expected to be neutral, with the temperature hovering around the 25-degree mark. The humidity levels are expected to be around the 50 mark. Bangalore has seen heavy rains in the past few days, but the chances of its occurrence are very thin during the course of the game. There will be dew in the second half but will have low to none impact on the game.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Heinrich Klaasen may make way for AB de Villiers, who missed the last match due to a concussion. Virat Kohli and Parthiv Patel will open the innings for RCB, with ABD managing the number three position. The in-form Moeen Ali, who scored a half-century in the last game, will come to bat at number 4 position, with Marcus Stoinis following him. Dale Steyn made a dream comeback, claiming 2 vital wickets. He will be accompanied by Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj in the pace department, while Chahal and Moeen will manage the spin department.
Probable XI: Parthiv Patel (WK), Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers, Akshdeep Nath, Moeen Ali, Marcus Stoinis, Pawan Negi, Dale Steyn, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal
Chennai Super Kings
There is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the return of Dhoni to the side. If Dhoni is included in the playing XI, then it will cost Sam Billings his place in the team. Sam Billings hasn’t been very successful, scoring 0 runs in the last match. Leg-spinner Karn Sharma could also be replaced by pacer Scott Kuggelejin in this game. Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis will open the innings, with Raina at number three position. A lot will depend on Jadeja and Tahir to restrict the opposition to a low score.
Probable XI: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (C & WK), Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Scott Kuggelejin, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Imran Tahir
Batting: Virat Kohli is the only RCB batsman in the top 10 list of highest run-getters in this season of IPL. Kohli, with 378 runs, is at number 4 position in the list. While, RCB, the team at the bottom of the points table at least has one representation in the top 10 run-getter list, the team at the top, CSK has none.
Bowling: Chennai flaunts, probably the best bowling line-up. 2 of their bowlers, Imran Tahir (second spot) and Deepak Chahar (seventh spot) feature in the list of Top 10 Wicket Takers list, with 15 and 11 wickets respectively. Harbhajan Singh sits on top of the list of Most Economical Bowlers, with 2 more players from the team, Tahir and Jadeja occupying fourth and seventh spot, respectively. One RCB bowler, Yuzvendra Chahal makes it to the third position in the list of top 10 wicket takers, with 13 wickets, while none could make it to the economical list.
PROBABLE TOP PERFORMERS
Virat Kohli – Royal Challengers Bangalore | Faf du Plessis – Chennai Super Kings
FANFIGHT FANTASY CRICKET TEAMS FOR RCB vs CSK
TV – Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 Select HD
Live Streaming – Hotstar
Match Timings – 20:00 IST
The prediction is for CSK to win the match.
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