Qualifier 1 Preview: CSK to Avenge Semifinal Defeat against RCB

Chennai Super Kings is eyeing revenge against Royal Challengers Bangalore when they meet in the first knockout of IPL 2011. Both are top teams of IPL. Will CSK prove why they are the best team of IPL!!

History of CSK vs RCB Matches
CSK Vs RCB: Player Performance Graph

Besides the 5 wins in 9 clashes, RCB thumped CSK in 2009 semifinal winning by 6 wickets. Man of the match Manish Pandey played a memorable 48 inning knock to help RCB chase 147 runs set by CSK with ease. Dravid with 44 tuns and Kohli with undefeated 24 nailed CSKs hope. Morkel, Jakati, Gony and Muralitharan finished with 1 wicket a piece.

While batting CSK could score only 146/5. Dhoni, Raina and Morkel scored in 20s while Badrinath scored undefeated single. Parthiv Patel with 36 runs was their highest scorer.

Current Performances
Hussey has been the most successful batsman for CSK. But, he has not been so devastating as Gayle has been. Kohli and Badrinath are playing in the same zone, yet Badri has been forced to shuffle a lot, resulting in his occasional loss of concentration. Yet he is the key player for CSK in 2011. Ashwin has been the best CSK bowler. RCB also has Aravind who has the same number of wickets in lesser matches than what Ashwin has played.

Who Will Win the Qualifier!!
Both teams are equally placed with 9 wins each and have shared one win each even in 2011 group matches. While RCB is powered on Gayle-force, CSK has the best batting line up that boasts of 5 batsmen in 300-plus club. CSK also has the best bowling unit, but RCB bowlers have also shown substance by restricting CSk to below par score in their last win at home. The match is between equals. Considering current Gayle-force, CSK may just fall short of what it takes to win the match.

Key Battles
Gayle/Kohli vs Bollinger/Morkel/Ashwin
Gayle accompanied by Kohli has singled-handedly take RCB to the top. When CSK defeated RCB at home, Gayle was not part of the losing team. With Gayle around, CSK bowlers could do nothing to save the low target. Within a span of 3 days they will expect fortunes to turn and control Gayle. Afterall, so far he has been the key to win matches against RCB.

CSKs 5 vs Aravind/Zaheer/Vettori
CSK has the unique distinction of boasting 5 bastmen in 300-plus club. Still against Aravind, Zaheer and Vettori at Bangalore they could not touch a run rate of even 7. With the batting strength of RCB, the top 5 batsman of CSK, Hussey, Badrinath, Raina, Dhoni and Murali Vijay know they must be redy to post a huge score. But the trio of RCB may be ready with few more tricks to suppress any counter-attack.

Dhoni’s Luck vs RCBs Bad Luck
Dhoni is lucky. Everyone agrees on that. RCB has already been twice unlucky in IPL knockouts. Can they be third time lucky!! Finals will come later. As far as qualifier is concerned, RCB knows they have the edge against the lucky captain Dhoni, who is in-form also, as they have already won one semifinal against CSK in 2009. Vettori and his team would expect an easy repeat, specially after having won the last game against CSK very comprehensively.

RCB Squad
Batsman: AB de Villiers (WK), Luke Pomersbach, Rilee Rossouw, Saurabh Tiwary, Mayank Agarwal, Muralidharen Gautam, Mohammad Kaif, Virat Kohli, Asad Pathan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Gayle
Allrounder: Daniel Vettori (Captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Jonathan Vandiar
Bowlers: Dirk Nannes, Johan van der Wath, Zaheer Khan, Sreenath Aravind, Arun Karthik, BN Bharath, Raju Bhatkal, Nuwan Pradeep, Abrar Kazi, Abhimanyu Mithun, Ryan Ninan

CSK Squad
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

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