MUMBAI: It is going to be a clash of the heavyweights when the in-form Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) take on the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the southern derby at the DY Patil Stadium here later on Tuesday.
An IPL clash with two former India captains in the opposing sides is a delight for the fans, but if those two happen to be the iconic Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the contest takes an altogether different meaning.
Both sides have so far had contrasting fortunes in this edition of the IPL. While RCB have been flying high on the back of superb performances from their batters as well as bowlers and are currently third on the points table after three wins in four outings, the Ravindra Jadeja-led CSK are scraping the bottom of the table after four consecutive losses.
The Faf du Plessis-led RCB will be coming into the contest on the back of fine form as they ran riot against an off-colour Mumbai Indians with an all-round display, with budding opener Anuj Rawat smashing a coming-of-age knock and the seasoned Kohli steering the team to the finishing line with a controlled 48.
The bowlers too were spot on as they restricted Mumbai Indians in the first 15 overs.
Four-time IPL champions CSK, on the other hand, have struggled badly, with barely anything to show for their efforts as they have slumped to four straight losses, the worst start ever for the side. This clash will be of symbolic importance to CSK as another loss can deal a massive blow to their already dampened spirits.
RCB skipper Faf du Plessis will come up against the batting prowess of Moeen Ali in another interesting clash to watch out for. The former South African captain got off to a fine start as he blasted 88 in the season opener. However, since then he has been relatively quiet going by the high standards. But on his day, du Plessis can almost single-handedly change the course of the game. Moeen too is a dynamic striker of the ball and can roll his wrists as well for good measure. He was also instrumental in CSK winning the IPL last season.
The venue is likely to favour the bowlers slightly, with a minimal presence of green that has made the ball drift in the early overs. However, a match aggregate of 400-plus runs cannot be ruled out. Teams chasing will always have the upper hand considering the dew factor and the fact that 10 T20 games out of the 13 played here have been won by the chasers.