The twelfth edition of the Indian Premier League is under way, and in the Match number 25 we will witness the inaugural champions Rajasthan Royals battling against the holders Chennai Super Kings at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.
The Royals, led by Ajinkya Rahane, is one that has traditionally underperformed in the IPL, and they have begun in the exact same vein this time around too.
They possess a good blend of foreign and Indian talent, that arguably does not have a lot of chemistry, and this could adversely affect their chances.
It is a promising outfit that has the potential to lift the IPL trophy like they did in the inaugural season, and boasts of a squad with rich depth and variety in both the batting and bowling departments, thanks to a pool of enviable foreign talent.
On the other hand, CSK have made a fairytale start to the glitzy tournament by winning five of their six matches. Led by veteran MS Dhoni, the Men in Yellow possess a brilliant squad that has truckloads of experience.
Arguably the most successful IPL franchise in history, they have a habit of winning and winning handsome, and have been traditional powerhouses on the leaderboard.
Rajasthan Royals (Probable XI): Ajinkya Rahane (C), Jos Buttler (WK), Sanju Samson, Steve Smith, Rahul Tripathi, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Krishnappa Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat.
Chennai Super Kings (Probable XI): Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (C) (WK), Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Scott Kuggeleijn, Deepak Chahar, Imran Tahir.
Jos Buttler vs Imran Tahir
Jos Buttler was one of the champion performers in the last edition of the IPL, and has been in excellent nick for England. The wicketkeeper has 1251 runs from 42 IPL matches, at 34.75 with an excellent strike rate of 147.35.
The Somerset keeper used to play for the Mumbai Indians and it will be exciting to see if he could replicate his last-season heroics.
The South African spinner Imran Tahir has been a vital cog in the CSK bowling unit. The right-arm leggie is adept at testing batsmen on all surfaces, and is a proven wicket-taker.
From 44 IPL matches, the wily customer has managed to prise out 62 wickets at an exceptional strike rate of 15.68. His economy rate is 8.01 and slightly on the higher side, but that is largely down to him being a wrist spinner willing to flight the ball.
Jofra Archer vs Suresh Raina
The last season of the IPL saw Jofra Archer being a revelation for the Royals with some stellar bowling performances. He has 18 wickets from 15 matches, at a strike rate of 19.28 with an impressive economy rate of under eight.
He has not exactly set the IPL ablaze like last year, but has been rather successful in reining in the batsmen. The Barbadian can definitely not be written off and one could expect him to weave some magic.
Suresh Raina has been a vital cog in the Chennai batting lineup over the years, and has also been one of IPL’s most consistent players for many years now.
The Uttar Pradesh southpaw is a fearless and enterprising cricketer with a vast array of attacking shots. His ability to attack from the word go, makes him a very crucial player for Chennai and a tough competitor.
Raina has many as 5117 runs from 182 matches, with a batting average of 33.89 at a healthy strike rate of 137.63.
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Taking into consideration the experience and chemistry of the Chennai team, coupled with their performance this year, Team CricWizz expects Chennai Super Kings to win its match against the Rajasthan Royals.
But Rajasthan has had a superlative home record at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, but their dismal display is bound to be capitalised on by CSK.
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