Three-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have been off-colour so far in the ongoing season. They will play against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the match on Saturday, to be held in Dubai.
Both sides have some great weapons in their armoury and both the teams have been inconsistent in the ongoing edition of IPL. While CSK sits at the sixth spot with just four points in their kitty, the Virat Kohli-led side is a step ahead.
CSK's major concern has been the middle-order. While Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis are in good form, the middle-order has let them down. Despite restricting Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to a moderate total in their previous outing, the Yellow Brigade fell short by 10 runs while chasing the target. Kedhar Jadhav's consecutive poor shows too have raised eyebrows. The CSK think-tank might axe him from the playing XI and include either N Jagadeesan or Mitchell Santner, who have been warming the bench till now. Moreover, Dhoni himself hasn't been up to the mark, failing to finish off games.
Their bowling has no doubt improved as they restricted KKR to a chase-able total with their star all-rounder Dwayne Bravo also among the wickets. Karn Sharma, who replaced leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, was also decent and is likely to be in the playing XI against RCB. Deepak Chahar, Sam Curran and Shardul Thakur would again be expected to come up with early breakthroughs.
RCB, on the other hand, were on the receiving end against Delhi Capitals and would aim to make a comeback to remain in hunt for a play-offs berth. While Kohli has regained his touch, young opener Devdutt Padikkal too has been decent with the bat. South African superstar AB de Villiers will once again be their key man in the middle-order. If Padikkal along with his opening partner Aaron Finch is able to hand a flying start at the top, RCB will certainly have an edge over their southern rivals on Saturday.
In bowling, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has led them well but their pacers haven't been up to the mark. Mohammed Siraj and Navdeep Saini have received breakthroughs but they have been leaking runs regularly and need to be economical. Isuru Udana has been economical but the Sri Lankan left-arm pacer should look to get wickets whenever the team needs.
Any contest between the two sides has always been a quality affair with each of the sides hardly giving any space to the other but on paper, the Yellow Brigade looks a bit better after winning 15 of the 24 games while RCB managing just eight and a game fetching no result.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (Captain), M Vijay, Ambati Rayudu, Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Kedar Jadhav, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Lungi Ngidi, Deepak Chahar, Piyush Chawla, Imran Tahir, Mitchell Santner, Josh Hazlewood, Shardul Thakur, Sam Curran, N Jagadeesan, KM Asif, Monu Kumar, R Sai Kishore, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Karn Sharma
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (Captain), AB de Villiers, Parthiv Patel, Aaron Finch, Josh Philippe, Chris Morris, Moeen Ali, Mohammed Siraj, Shahbaz Ahmed, Devdutt Padikkal, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini, Dale Steyn, Pawan Negi, Isuru Udana, Shivam Dube, Umesh Yadav, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Washington Sundar, Pavan Deshpande, Adam Zampa