IPL 2014 Match Preview: Bowlers Hold the Key in CSK vs RR

Rajasthan Royals, during the dream run of 2008 championship, defeated Chennai Super Kings in all the three matches they faced each other, including the final. Since then during their low phase they lost 6 consecutive matches to CSK. Only under the captaincy of Dravid they stopped the losses by winning the last match they played at Home against CSK, and their current captain Shane Watson emerged as the Player of the Match. Both have a win and a loss each from their first two matches. Although both teams are equally balanced, better bowling gives Royals the edge over the Super Kings.

IPL 2014 Schedule and Results

Both teams have played each other at both levels, group and knockout. Except 2008 when RR won the championship and cleaned up CSK thrice, including the final, RR had registered only two more win against the IPL champions CSK. In the last 4 editions CSK has cleaned up RR in 2009, 2011 and 2012, while in 2010 and 2013 they shared honours in the two group matches they played.

Head-to-Head: CSK 8, RR 5
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


    CSK won by 7 wkts, MOM: Plessis
    CSK won by 4 wkts, MOM: Hilfenhaus


    CSK def RR by 8 wickets, MOM: Hussey
    CSK def RR by 63 runs, MOM: Murali Vijay


    CSK won by 5 wickets, MOM: Michael Hussey
    RR won by 5 wkts, MOM: Watson

2014 Performances
Rajasthan Royals won the first match against Sunrisers, but were chased down by Maxwell and Miller in a high run chase. CSK also lost their match to Kings XI in a higher run chase but registered equally emphatic win against Delhi Daredevils. In one game they were part of record 200-run chase, while in other match they extended their record of bowling out teams for maximum below 100 scores. Rajasthan Royals have showed that they can restrict teams to low score when they played Sunrisers, and then showed they can score high too, against Kings XI.

Overall IPL Performances
CSK has been the winner twice and reached the final on 5 occasions, except 2009. RR won the inaugral championship and reached the Semifinals in 2013.

CSK is the best IPL teams with 60 wins and 40 losses with 2 no results, 1 each against RCB and KKR.
RR has won 50 (third best team in terms of win:loss ratio after CSK and MI) and lost 42 with 2 no results, one each against RCB and MI.

Team Comparison
Both the teams bat deep, but CSK has more match winners in the form of Brendum McCullum, Faf du Plessi, Dwayn Smith, Raina and Dhoni. They also have Ashwin and Jadeja facing whom is major challenge for any team, besides the quicks who strangled Delhi Daredevils.
Rajasthan Royals on the other hand are no more just dependent on Shane Watson. They have the best local resources in the form of Sanju Samson, Stuart Binny, Tambe. Faulkner has proved his potential as match winner with ball, as well as bat. Rahane is consistently successful, while Rajat Bhati and Abdullah are useful additions. Including Kevon Cooper may give their bowling more teeth.

Key Players
Ashwin and the pace trio of Hilfenhaus, Ishwar Pandey and Mohit Sharma may be the deciding factor. Royals batsmen may faulter against the sheer pace atack. But, if Rahane, Samson and Binny hit them out of attack, they can score or chase a total around 170 beyond which CSKs talented batsmen may find it difficult to score against the disciplined attack of Royals. Both the teams have already suffered the biggest chase in their history, against Kings XI Punjab in current edition. But as they fought fiercely last year, when both won at home by 5 wickets each, these teams are more evenly matched and in overall analysis, Rajasthan bowling gets them a slight edge. They can win in a close battle.

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