Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals, Abu Dhabi
Pro Tip: Top order batsmen and allrounders are crucial in Abu Dhabi.
Our XI: Jos Buttler, Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Steven Smith, Rahul Tewatia, Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja, Jofra Archer, Shardul Thakur, Kartik Tyagi
Substitutes: Ben Stokes, Deepak Chahar, MS Dhoni, Robin Uthappa
NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.
Player availability: Dwayne Bravo is out for a while, but all other players are available for selection.
Captain: Faf du Plessis
Du Plessis has scored 365 runs at a strike rate of 142.57 so far this season. He also has a healthy strike rate of 132.60 in the powerplay. Given that the Royals have picked up only one wicket in the powerplay on average this tournament, du Plessis should play a long innings.
Vice-captain: Sam Curran
Curran has been contributing with both bat and ball for the Super Kings. He has picked up ten wickets at an economy of 8.57 and scored 99 runs at a strike rate of 180. Since Curran is opening both the batting as well as the bowling for them, he is a good choice for vice-captain.
Ambati Rayudu: Rayudu has dropped down to No. 4 in the batting line-up, but that has only done more good to him. He has a boundary percentage of 53.99 in the middle overs in the IPL since 2018 – since then, he has scored 493 runs at an average of 37.92 and a strike rate of 124.49 for CSK at No. 4.
Jofra Archer: Archer has been bowling with great pace and accuracy. Among all pacers who have picked up ten or more wickets so far this season, Archer has the second-best economy rate of 6.95. He can also contribute with the bat, and has 91 runs at a strike rate of 193.61.
Ravindra Jadeja: Jadeja has become the new finisher for the Super Kings. Among all batsmen who have faced 40 or more balls at the death this season, Jadeja has the third-best strike rate of 215.87. He also bowls and can help get points with his fielding as well.
Kartik Tyagi: Tyagi has been mixing his lengths and pace admirably this season. Even if he gets hit, he makes up for it with wickets. Tyagi has an economy of 7.33 in the middle overs and 9 at the death.
Rahul Tewatia: Tewatia has been the find of the season for the Royals. He has contributed with both bat and ball, and on the field as well. With 222 runs at a strike rate of 145.09, he’s the second-highest run-getter for the Royals so far, while his six wickets have come at an economy of just 7.81.
Ben Stokes is an alternate option for Tewatia, given that Stokes will open the batting. But Tewatia remains a better option as Stokes showed discomfort on the field in the last game and may not bowl against the Super Kings.
In Bravo’s absence, Josh Hazlewood or Imran Tahir could get in.
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