In the twelfth encounter of the 2019 Indian Premier League, table-toppers Chennai Super Kings take on the lowest placed side of this year’s IPL, Rajasthan Royals, at Chepauk Stadium. Chennai are not expected to make any changes to the side that have won two out of two matches that they have played in.
Rajasthan, on the other hand, expected to field the same four foreigners into their playing eleven. Jos Butler, Steven Smith, Jofra Archer, and Ben Stokes are expected to feature along with Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson, Rahul Tripathy, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jaydev Unadkat, and Dhawal Kulkarni. One player who is expected to come into the side is batsman Manan Vohra to solidify Royal’s batting, and Shreyas Gopal is set to make way for the former KXIP man.
Suresh Raina vs Jofra Archer
It won’t be wrong to consider Suresh Raina as one of the legends for the Chennai team and also the IPL. The swashbuckling southpaw has played a total of 159 games for CSK across 9 seasons. His overall IPL average across the 11 years is 34.34 in 178 matches with a strike rate of 138.41. He also became the first player in the IPL history to reach 5000 runs mark against RCB. With 1 IPL century and 35 fifties across the 11 seasons, one cannot write-off Raina even though he is not in his prime.
Jofra Archer is one name who is making waves in the United Kingdom. The Caribbean born English player will qualify for England Cricket Team next month and is almost certain to debut for them against Pakistan in May. In the 2018 IPL season, Archer impressed all by picking up 15 wickets in mere 10 matches, and thus he is one of the key bowlers for Rajasthan this time around. Although he is yet to pick up a wicket this season, he has been exceptionally economical and was the only bowler for RR who caused some form of trouble for the SRH team. With an economy rate of 8.19 and average of 25.60, the CSK batsmen would have to negate him intelligently if they have to dictate the game against RR.
Dwayne Bravo vs Sanju Samson
West Indian Dwayne Bravo is an experienced campaigner in the International circuit. Having an International experience of almost 15 years, Bravo was bought back by the Chennai based team in IPL 2018 auctions after having not found any potential suitors in IPL 2017. He has already played in 124 matches for 3 teams across 10 IPL seasons, Bravo averages 23.45 with 140 wickets in 121 innings. He also has a couple of 4-wicket hauls in his name. Although his economy rate is 8.39, it is justifiable and actually pretty impressive for a bowler who generally bowls a maximum of his spells during death overs.
One of the most talented players coming out of Kerela, Sanju Samson has always shown promise but has never fulfilled it. However, having scored a swashbuckling century against Hyderabad the last match, this season might be Sanju’s coming of age and living up to bill season. Already having 2 centuries and 10 fifties under his belt in 83 IPL matches, Sanju averages 28.15 with a strike-rate of 129.30. He is just one short of 2000 IPL runs, and the CSK bowlers would have to be really wary of this explosive batsman’s threat if they are to continue their winning run.
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Chepauk Stadium in Chennai saw a slow pitch that helped spinners in the last match. If this is to be the case in this match too, Chennai would have an advantage over Rajasthan since Chennai have three experienced and quality spinners in their arsenal, namely Harbhajan Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, and Imran Tahir, while Rajasthan lack quality spinners in their squad.
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