IPL Match 16 Preview: Can RCB break the CSK Code!!

Royal Challengers Bangalore is playing the 5th match of the season, while Chennai Super Kings will play their 3rd match. So far CSK has got one of the most relaxed schedule. But that must not reduce their fire or hunger that they need to register 5th win over RCB in their 7th meeting in third year. Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore have fought an intense battle of 4 matches in the 2011 edition, till the final. In 2012 CSK has won one while other produced no result. While CSK has the most balanced team, RCBs trio of Gayle, Kohli and AB de Villiers is enough to demolish any team on any venue. Despite that CSK has emerged winner in 4 of their 5 last clashes.

RCB is not only leading the table because they have played the maximum matches, even their batsmen and bowlers are firing all cylinders. Kohli has the Orange Cap, while Gayle is only 6 runs behind him. Vinay Kumar has the Purple Cap, while RP Singh has just one wicket less than him. With so many players in good form, they are facing the super team of IPL Chennai Super Kings at the right time.

IPL 2013 Schedule and Results

History
Both have been phenomenal in IPL. While CSK is the most consistent team reaching knockout stage in all the four seasons, RCB had emerged as third best team after their forgettable first season. Between them they have always played tough matches with 92 run win by CSK against RCB being the most one-sided match in 9 clashes, while RCBs 8 wicket win is their best against CSK.

Head-to-Head CSK 7, RCB 5, 1 NR
2008

    CSK def RCB by 13 Runs
    RCB def CSK by 14 Runs

2009

    CSK def RCB by 92 Runs
    RCB def CSK by 2 Wickets
    CSK def RCB by 6 Wickets

2010

    RCB def CSK by 36 Runs
    CSK def RCB by 5 Wickets

2011

    CSK def RCB by 21 runs
    RCB def CSK by 8 wickets
    CSK def RCB by 5 wkts in Semifinal
    CSK def RCB by 58 runs in Final

2012

    CSK won by 5 wkts, MOM: Faf du Plessis
    No Result

RCB has won once in CLT20.
2008 Performances
CSK won 9 and lost 7 before losing in the nail-biting final against Rajasthan Royals.
RCB had a forgettable year winning just 4 and losing 10 matches. Termed as test team of IPL they finished 2nd from the bottom.

2009 Performances
CSK Reached the semifinal where Royal Challengers knocked them out. They won 8, lost 6 and 1 match produced no result.
RCB’s best tournament, reaching the final, produced 9 wins and 7 losses for them.

2010 Performances
With 9 wins and 7 losses, CSK finally won the championship.
RCB finished 3rd winning and losing 8 matches each.

2011 Performances
Both registered 9 wins at group stage, but CSK lost 5 matches whereas RCB lost only 4 as one of their matches was washed off. CSK won the only playoff played, against RCB, while Challengers have played two playoffs, winning one against MI and losing against CSK.

RCB played maximum 3 matches at Knockout stage to reach the final, but lost 2 of them (both against CSK including the final) and won one against MI.
CSK played 2 matches at knockout and won comfortably (Both against RCB).

2012 Performances
CSK edged past RCB on better Net Run Rate to reach the knockout, while RCB finished 5th. Overall RCB won 8 and lost 7, while CSK won 10 and lost 8 with one resulting in no result.

2013 Performances
RCB has played four and is on the top of the table before going into the match with three wins and one loss, they won against MI, then against Sunrisers in return match after losing the first match, and then defeated KKR.
CSK has played two, lost one to MI but won against Kings XI in away match.

Overall IPL performance
CSK is the best team of IPL in terms of result, reaching knockout in all editions, and Fair Play also, winning Kingfisher Fair Play Award twice. RCB can be termed as 3rd best now, reaching the final twice and knockout thrice.

CSK has 48 wins and 34 losses with 1 abandoned match, whereas RCB has won 42 and lost 39 matches with 1 abandoned match.

Who Will Win Today
Considering the Chennai pitch and home team’s impressive record, CSK is favorite. But, the defeat against Mumbai Indians in the opening match have opened many chinks in their armor for all to see.

Muralitharan, ex-CSK player, may not be in any mood to forgive them for deserting him but his current form has been patchy.

While CSK bats deep, RCBs top 3 batsmen are destructive enough to compensate for the long tail. With Gayle and Kohli in good form and AB de Villiers waiting his turn for a big innings, Chennai fans may get a surprise fireworks from opposite camp. Overall, the better balanced unit makes CSK the favorite to win.

Key Battles
Gayle vs Ashwin

    Ashwin is the second most successful, after Malinga, in thwarting the Gayle storm and that is a major reason in CSKs 4 wins in their last 5 matches of 2011 and 2012. Last year Ashwin held the aces bamboozling threatening Gayle in the semifinal and final. Gayle must be aware of the Ashwin-threat and prepared for the renewed battle. The winner of the battle will decide the winner. Ashwin could not control Gayle during group stage match in 2011 and he alone won them the match. A repeat is awaited.

Murali Kartik & RP Singh vs CSK

    Absence of Muralitharan may be a big blow for RCB as due to boycott of SL players in Chennai he cannot play. That leaves Murali Kartik and RP Singh wit additional responsibilities. Vinay Kumar and Unadkat have been good so far, still RP Singh has been most successful and Kartik can be economic and dangerous both in any match. How CSK batsmen handle them would decide their fate too.
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