Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings are set to clash to decide the current top spot in the Points Table. Both are eying a place in knockout phase, and Royals having played 1 more match than others, need the win more, but home ground for CSK is a fort, and none other than RR knows better the importance of holding fort.
Both teams have played each other at both levels, group and knockout. Royals hold an edge over Super Kings with a victory more in their last 7 clashes. Both cleaned up each other in first two editions – RR winning all three in 2008, CSK winning all 2 in 2009, and then both shared honours in 2010.
Head-to-Head: RR 4, CSK 3
RR def CSK by 8 Wickets
RR def CSK by 10 Runs
RR def CSK by 3 Wickets
CSK def RR by 38 Runs
CSK def RR by Wickets
RR def CSK by 17 Runs
CSK def RR by 23 Runs
They drubbed their prey Deccan Chargers easily and then went on to thump Delhi Daredevils. But after that they had to play two back-to-back matches against Kolkata Knight Riders. In third match, their record of defending totals above 145 runs was broken against KKR, and in fourth match at Edens, they scored the third-ever lowest score of IPL, losing it againt to KKR. Kings XI had further humiliation in store for RR. Last match not only saw them humiliating Kochi Tuskers, but more important saw Watson, Warne and Dravid performance that promises bigger show in future matches. Botha, their best batsman with his allround performance drubbed the invincible appearing Mumbai Indians, when Royals bowled them for one of the lowest IPL scores. Then they went on to drub Pune Warriors at home, in their last match.
Chennai Super Kings had a balanced and composed tournament so far with 2 victories and 1 loss. The teams looks formiddable, although batting is ruled by Indians till now, except one performance from Hussey. They have snatched victory from the mouth of defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders in firtst match. Kings XI surprised them with the Valthaty hammer, whereas against Royal Chalengers, the comfortable victory brought calm and composed look back on team member’s face. They were the last victim of Tuskers wonderful campaign and lost comfortably in the rain-curtailed match. Later they also lost to the Group Champion Mumbai Indians, and comfortably won the first match against Pune Warriors, defending a low total. The back-to-back match against Pune Warriors saw CSK making a clinical chase of small total. Then, at home they registered easy victory over clueless Chargers.
Rajasthan Royals player performance index shows better batting, with five batsmen touching 100-mark, but the highest is still just 189 by Botha. Their bowlers have taken 43 wickets in 9 matches, with Warne being the 3rd best bowler of the tournament so far.
For Chennai, player’s performance index shows Badrinath and Husseyy fighting for the top spot. Raina has joined Badrinath, Murali Vijay, and Hussey in 200-club, while Dhoni has scored 158 runs. Bollinger and Morkel are performing their best. Bowlers have managed to take 42 wickets in 8 matches.
On their way to championship RR won record 13 matches and lost just 3. n 2008, CSK registered 9 Wins and 7 Losses, three of which came against the Rajasthan Royals, including the defeat in final.
South Africa did not suit them and they managed just 5 wins, Lost 8, and 1 was abandoned.
In 2009, CSK was knocked out by RCB in the semifinal. Overall they recorded 8 Wins, 6 Losses and 1 No Result.
RR again failed to enter knockout and could win only 6 and Lost 8 matches. In 2010 CSK finally won the championship with 9 wins and 7 losses overall.
RR has a positive win loss ratio, making them one of the successful teams of IPL in last three editions. They have Won 24, Lost 19, and one match was abandoned.
CSK, having played the maximum matches in last three IPL, have 26 wins, 20 losses and 1 No Result – the best record by any team.
Who Will Win Today!
Both are scheduled to play two matches against each other. For Rajasthan Royals it will be back-to-back after 5 days break, and CSK will play KKR between today’s and next matcha against RR. CSK, like MI, looks complete team with batsmen, bowlers and fielders firing together and the cool-head of captain Dhoni helping them snatch victories from defeat. RR on the other hand are as unpredictable as they were ever in last three editions. There are two basic difference from first 3-editions – Warne as captain is faltering in on-field and off-field decisions, and their ace Watson is not firing much with bat or ball. Home advantage play important role in victory for both teams, and considering better team strength and home advantage CSK should win the match, although it can get pretty close for comfort.
Watson vs Morkel/Bollinger
Watson is World Class allrounder and yet to get back to his top form. Still he is the most important weapon Royals have, and he can fire any day. On his day, nothing else matters then. Opposition is turned into mere spectator. Morkel and Bollinger on the other hand are the most consistent duo of IPL. They have hunted together. Both, together, should be able to tackle any challenge Watson throws on them, and that can be fatal for RR. Otherwise, CSK would be in trouble.
Warne vs Dhoni
This should be the battle worth watching. As captain Warne is more astute, but Dhoni is the best captain, even in current IPL. He has also been very successful as batsmen, enjoying whatever opportunity his successful batting line-up gives him to bat.
Warne on the other hand knows he holds the key to the bowling of Royals. He would be under more pressure as even as bowler he must succeeded. But he is the master of taking pressure. Already received MOMs for his bowling, he should be considering Chennai Pitch as home ground due to the turn it provides. CSK better beware of him.
Botha/Ross Taylor vs Hussey/Raina
These are the key players of both teams who have consistently performed, although Raina picked up form bit late, but now he is in full flow. The contest between this duo of both teams holds the key to the match.
Rajasthan Royals Squad
Batsman: Ross Taylor, Rahul Dravid, Swapnil Asnodkar, Amit Singh, Ankeet Chavan, Aakash Chopra, Faiz Fazal, Amit Paunikar, Ajinkya Rahane, Pinal Shah(WK), Dishant Harendra Yagnik (WK)
Allrounder: Shane Watson, Paul Collingwood, Dinesh Salunkhe
Bowlers: Shane Warne (Captain), Shaun Tait, Stuart Binny, Aditya Dole, Nayan Doshi, Samad Fallah, Ashok Menaria, Sumit Narwal, Pankaj Singh, Abhishek Raut, Siddharth Trivedi
Batsmen: Dhoni (Captain), Faf du Plessis, Michael Hussey, Srikkanth Anirudha, Subramaniam Badrinath, Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Murali Vijay
Allrounders: Dwayne Bravo, Albie Morkel, Scott Styris, Suresh Raina, Yo Mahesh
Bowlers: Tim Southee, Doug Bollinger, Ben Hilfenhaus, Suraj Randiv, Nuwan Kulasekara, George Bailey, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shadab Jakati, Joginder Sharma, Abhinav Mukund, Sudeep Tyagi, Kuthethurshri Vasudevadas, Ganapathi Vignesh