Bengaluru, April 25: Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings will renew their intense rivalry after two years when they face-off in the Indian Premier League at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Wednesday.
With CSK not playing in the previous two seasons, fans on either side were robbed of IPL’s most celebrated rivalry.Though Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK lead RCB 13-7 in the overall head-to-head record, both teams have won three games each out of the seven played at the high-scoring Chinnaswamy Stadium with one producing a no-result.
Dhoni’s team have been much better than RCB in their comeback season, winning four out of the five games they have played so far. The Virat Kohli-captained RCB have won two out of their five matches and would be eager to maintain momentum after the win against Delhi Daredevils at home last week.
So, flying high on confidence, CSK will be eyeing to keep their winning momentum flowing when they face RCB today.
With the likes of in-form Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo and the skipper himself, CSK has the ability to put a massive total on board or chase any challenging target.
In the bowling department, young Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur have been impressive with each bagging six wickets from five and four games respectively.
While Chahar has an economy rate of 7.60, Thakur has been a bit expensive with 9.50 runs per over.
Also, all-rounder Watson has six wickets to his name with an economy of under eight.
Leg-spinner Imran Tahir, medium-pacer Dwayne Bravo and leggie Karn Sharma have also came with breakthroughs for CSK at crucial times.
On the other hand, RCB, led by Virat Kohli are placed six in the points-table with just a couple of wins from five games.
Despite having stars like AB De Villiers, Mandeep Singh, Quinton de Kock and Brendon McCullum, Bangalore’s batting has been inconsistent, except for Kohli.
The RCB skipper has accumulated 231 runs from five games, averaging 57.75.
If De Villiers, who blasted an unbeaten 90 off 39 balls in RCB’s last game against Delhi Daredevils, repeats the show, life would be difficult for Chennai.
Bangalore however, has failed to find the perfect opening partnerships, which could be a major cause of concern.
In the bowling department, the spin duo of Yuzuvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar, who have bagged five and four wickets respectively, will again be eager to put a better show as CSK have struggled against spin this season.
All-rounder Chris Woakes has been outstanding so far, picking up 8 wickets, while pacer Umesh Yadav also been equally good with eight wickets.
Overall, an exciting contest will be on cards when the two sides resume their intense rivalry after two years at the batting-friendly Chinnaswamy wicket.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (Captain), Quinton de Kock(WK), Brendon McCullum, AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Chris Woakes, Washington Sundar, Kulwant Khejroliya, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Colin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali, Manan Vohra, Aniket Choudhary, Navdeep Saini, Murugan Ashwin, Pawan Negi, Mohammed Siraj, Corey Anderson, Parthiv Patel, Aniruddha Joshi, Pavan Deshpande, Tim Southee.
Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain/WK), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Deepak Chahar, K.M. Asif, Kanishk Seth, Lungi Ngidi, Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, N Jagadeesan.