Chennai Super Kings buoyed with back-to-back victories take on Rajasthan Royals, still smarting after the loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore, in a crucial match of the IPL-6 at MA Chidambaram Stadium on Monday. CSK will be relaxed and their confidence level is high, as they aim for a hat-trick of wins.
They will in particular be happy with the way the lower order fought after the collapse of their top order and achieved a creditable win against the formidable Kolkata side on Sunday.
Ravindra Jadeja was again the chief architect of the win and will continue to play a key role. MS Dhoni has reposed immense faith in Jadeja and the all-rounder has repaid his skipper’s faith this season.
Dwayne Bravo and Chris Morris have delivered too and Mike Hussey is in fine touch. So CSK doesn’t have many complaints regarding their foreign imports. Their main concern is the poor form of M Vijay and the inconsistency of Suresh Raina and S Badrinath. Mohit Sharma has been bowling well, and R Ashwin has done well at Chepauk in all formats. Vijay’s poor show meant that CSK experimented by sending Ashwin as opener against KKR. The move backfired as CSK were 54 for 4 at one stage.
So, if CSK stick to the basics and play their normal game, they should have no problems overcoming Rajasthan. Rajasthan, without too many big names in their ranks, have performed beyond expectations in the current IPL.
Although they lost the last match, the fact that they have four wins from six games should give them satisfaction in a format where things change quickly. If they play to their potential they have the ability to topple any side on a given day.
Also the fact that CSK have been somewhat shaky at home should give them the belief to go flat out. The loss to lowly-ranked Pune has shown that CSK are no longer invincible at home.
Shane Watson, Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Dravid, Stuart Binny and Brad Hodge form a useful batting line-up with wicketkeeper Dishant Yagnik chipping in with some handy runs. Their attack is pace oriented as they don’t have much variety as far as spinners go. Shaun Tait, S Sreesanth, James Faulkner and Siddharth Trivedi form the crux of their bowling attack, with Ajit Chandila the lone spinner. Watson chips in with a couple of overs.