Match Preview: Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals @ Jaipur
Everyone expected CSK and RR to be 2 of the strongest teams in this competition, but who knew that they would have to face off in the semi-finals. RR have one of the best records at home with them being unbeaten in 12 consecutive games that they have played in Jaipur, but if there is some team that can break the record it has to be the Super Kings.
Both teams have a similar team structure, with there being some strong batsmen, a couple of good spinners, 2 good pacers and a quality all-rounder in each team too. Now it all comes down to which guy will put his hand up and perform on the day. It’s going to be a nail biter if it comes down to the star player from each team, Watson and Dhoni. Both captains are crowd favorites and at the same time calm customers, but at the end only 1 would have a smile on their face.
CSK have a strong team filled with international stars, but cricket is not just a numbers game. They have a solid opening pair, but they have not played as a solid pair throughout the tournament. When Hussey fails, Vijay performs and vice-versa. Other than that, if Jadeja and Mohit contribute a little more with the ball, Dhoni could have a big smile on his face at the end of the match.
Rahul Dravid has done an exceptional job in putting together a team from nowhere. A young wicketkeeper in Samson playing with a 41 year old Tambe, and both players being the top performers in their departments, this could only happen in Rajasthan Royals. If RR were to lose today, this would be the last time we get to see Dravid in the colored jersey. That being said, their record at home has been really good and 1 or 2 of their batsmen stand up in every game, like earlier it was Samson and Rahane and in the last game we got to see a gem of an innings from the old fox, Hodge.
Chennai Super Kings: Michael Hussey, Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, Subramaniam Badrinath, Mahendra Dhoni (c) (wk), Ravi Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Albie Morkel, Ravi Ashwin, Mohit Sharma, Jason Holder
X-Factor: Mahendra Dhoni, assumed to be the best captain ever, is going to take field in this very important game and the way he performs today will be very important. If he can bring his midas touch into the game and blast the RR bowlers, there will be no stopping CSK from storming into the finals. A lot will be expected from him, not only in the batting department but even in the bowling department. He has a task in hand, mainly because 2 of his main bowlers Jadeja and Mohit Sharma are not in form.
Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson(wk), Shane Watson, Stuart Binny, Brad Hodge, James Faulkner, Kevon Cooper, Ashok Menaria, Rahul Shukla, Pravin Tambe
X-Factor: Shane Watson had not had the best of tournaments, neither with the bat nor the ball and that is a slight headache for Dravid. However, we all know what he is capable of and if this is his day he can win the match for RR single handedly. He bats at no.4 and also bowls 1st change, both of which are pretty important roles. He would be hoping that the top 3 do not give him a lot of time In the middle, which would mean that RR have already posted a huge total. He would be the hottest pick in user’s fantasy team, and he must perform to prove them right.
Expected Result: Rajasthan Royals win
Finalllyyyyy, a match involving 2 IPL teams after one between MI and RR just took place a while back. This is match is definitely going to be a crowd puller given that the Indian crowd mostly shows up just to see their stars play. It’s the battle of the D’s, the cool Dhoni vs the flamboyant Dhawan.
Both teams are coming off great wins, and would want to continue that winning momentum with them. The Sunrisers are coming off a win on the back of Thisara Perera’s brilliant hitting, whereas the Super Kings won their last game on the back of a brilliant all-round batting performance. This is definitely a mouthwatering contest, and it is to be seen as to who will come on top. Super Kings would have the home advantage given that the match is being played in Dhoni’s backyard, Ranchi and there will be no surprises as to whom does the crowd want to see as the winners.
Could there be a more balanced team than the Chennai Super Kings? This team is as strong as any top class national team with there being so many big names in their lineup. The ever consistent Hussey, an awesome t20 player Raina and 2 brilliant allrounders in the shorter version Jadeja and Bravo are just a few out of the main 11. The best part about CSK is that if today is not Raina’s day, then Hussey or Vijay step in, and if it is not Dhoni’s day then Jadeja or Badrinath step in and get the job done for the team. The play as a unit, and it is going to take a hell lot to beat them on a flat track.
The Sunrisers always seem to be short on batsmen, particularly since their Indian batsmen have not stepped in as yet. Vihari and Reddy both have not played a good knock yet and that may worry the captain just a little bit. That being said, they have 2 brilliant all-rounders who perform consistently. In Perera, Steyn and Dhawan they have 3 of the best match winners a team could ever demand. Should they play as a team, they certainly can win this game.
Super Kings: Murali Vijay, Michael Hussey, Suresh Raina, Subramaniam Badrinath, Mahendra Dhoni (c)(wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Chris Morris, Mohit Sharma, Ravi Ashwin, Jason Holder
X-Factor: Murali Vijay would be a bit nervous as he got out for a duck in the previous game, and with his rival openers Sehwag getting match practice for India A, he would want to put in a good performance to book his place on the flight to South Africa. Here is his chance to face off against Dale Steyn on a Ranchi pitch rather than a pitch in Cape Town, and he can get his confidence high if he plays Steyn well. He is also the quicker of the 2 openers in terms of strike rates, given that Hussey’s role is to act as an anchor throughout the innings.
Sunrisers: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Parthiv patel (wk), Hanuma Vihari, JP Duminy, Darren Sammy, Thisara Perera, Karan Sharma, Ashish Reddy, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Dale Steyn
X-Factor: Amit Mishra has never been the 1st choice bowler for India even though he performs regularly and consistently. This sheer ignorance is intolerable but well, he has taken it in a positive way and is constantly putting in brilliant performances for the Sunrisers. Tomorrow is a big game against a strong batting line up and if he can perform against the national team captain, he might be in with an outside chance of making the trip to South Africa later in November. The CSK team has a couple of left handers in their line up, and it would be interesting to see Mishra bowl against them if given a chance.
Expected Result: Super Kings Win