Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Dubai
The Chennai Super Kings are struggling, but they know how to beat the Royal Challengers Bangalore. They’ve won three out of the last four contests between the sides. Give the likes of Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson a run in your fantasy team. They’re in form and may just give your team and theirs a fillip.
Our XI: AB de Villiers (wk), MS Dhoni, Aaron Finch, Devdutt Padikkal, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu (capt), Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal (vice-captain), Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar
Substitutes: Ravindra Jadeja, Shane Watson, Virat Kohli, Moeen Ali
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: Chris Morris is nearly ready to play, but there is no official word yet.
Captain: Ambati Rayudu
Rayudu has had two starts in three so far in the tournament. He made a match-winning half-century in the tournament opener against the Mumbai Indians but wasted his start in his second outing. He has made 171 in four innings against the Royal Challengers.
Vice-captain: Yuzvendra Chahal
Wickets are slowing down in the UAE and this will be a used pitch as well. The Super Kings have gone at 7.77 vs spin in the tournament so far. This suggests the in-form Chahal could apply the brakes in the middle overs. Since 2018, he has conceded at just 5.66 an over against them.
Faf du Plessis: Du Plessis has looked the most settled batsman for the Super Kings this season. He has gone at a strike rate of 151.01 to go with a boundary percentage of 54.84. Du Plessis also fields at key positions and hardly ever drops a catch. This means, in addition to the runs, he could give you fielding points.
Aaron Finch: Finch has a strike rate of 148.87 in the powerplay since 2018 in all T20s. Though he hasn’t been as consistent as he would’ve liked, this could be his game. The Super Kings have conceded 7.8 runs an over on an average in the powerplay in this tournament but they have picked up only five wickets. A Finch counter-attack could catch the Super Kings off guard.
AB de Villiers: De Villiers has failed only once in five innings this season. He has scored 155 runs at a strike rate of 176.13, including a couple of fifties, both of which came in Dubai. He’ll be key for the Royal Challengers again.
Shardul Thakur: He has been the best bowler for the Super Kings since making a belated entry to their XI. He has picked up five wickets in three games at an economy rate of 8.25. Thakur is a genuine wicket-taker.
Sam Curran: If he does not get too many wickets with the ball, he delivers with the bat. His agility in the field adds to his utility.
The Royal Challengers will most certainly look to play Chris Morris, if he’s available, in place of Moeen Ali perhaps. If Morris misses out, pick Navdeep Saini.
Virat Kohli has scored 41 runs in four innings against the Super Kings since 2018. Can he break the duck and make a big contribution?
MS Dhoni batted at No. 4 in the previous game. He has an excellent record against Kohli’s men – his last three innings have fetched him 185 at a strike rate of 176.19. He also hasn’t been dismissed against them. But all these knocks have come in chases. Should they bat first, perhaps you could replace him with Ravindra Jadeja, who on current form could be used up the order to counter Chahal.
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