IPL 2020 Match 4 Preview: RR vs CSK - Chennai look to make it two in two as Rajasthan sweat over Steve Smith's fitness
With leading all-rounder Ben Stokes already unavailable, it will be a huge setback for Rajasthan if captain Steve Smith hasn't yet recovered from delayed concussion after he copped a blow on his head during the Australia tour of England.
No Stokes, what about Smith?
The biggest point of concern for Rajasthan Royals as they gear up for their first IPL match will be the fitness of skipper Steve Smith. Smith copped a blow on his head during practice before the first ODI between England and Australia and had to miss the entire series due to delayed concussion symptoms. The Royals would expect him to be available and lead the side for their campaign to get off to a decent start.
The unavailability of Ben Stokes, who is currently in New Zealand with his family, will be a big loss for Rajasthan as the balance he provides to the side will be missed in his absence.
Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer - RR's key players
Jos Buttler is in red-hot form and would be the batsman to look out for Rajasthan Royals. Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson and Robin Uthappa are the other RR batsmen to watch out for.
They are expected to go in with Tom Curran alongside Jaydev Unadkat or Varun Aaron and Jofra Archer to form their pace attack while Mayank Markande and Shtreyas Gopal will be their leading spinners.
Chennai full of confidence after win against MI
Chennai Super Kings were a bit slow to get off the blocks in the opening fixture of the Indian Premier League but soon reiterated why they have been such a successful team in the tournament over the years. Once they found their feet, the calm and the tactics with which they approached the game proved too good for defending champions Mumbai Indians.
Expectedly, CSK have opted for the opening pair of Murali Vijay and Shane Watson while Faf du Plessis has also been included instead of an overseas bowler to further strengthen the batting order. Ambati Rayudu, who played a gem of a knock against Mumbai, and Kedar Jadhav are the mainstays of the CSK middle order, with MS Dhoni playing the finisher's role.
As was seen in the opening fixture, Dhoni will use Ravi Jadeja and Sam Curran as floaters. This balances out the batting order, with the two left handers bringing variety into the batting line-up which otherwise consists of all right-handers.
No Bravo, no problem; Sam Curran's here
Dwayne Bravo is still not a 100% fit with a knee injury and Sam Curran, who was included as his replacement in the first match and had a big impact, will continue doing the job.
Lungi Ngidi and Deepak Chahar are the two CSK frontline pacers. Among their bowlers, Piyush Chawla impressed the most in the first game with figures of 4-0-20-1 and is expected to be their trump card as the tournament goes on.
Match Analytics and Odds
We think your cricket betting on this match should be with RR to win, although below we think MI have the edge for your fantasy predictions.
Here's the probable playing XI of both teams:
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) - Murali Vijay, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Deepak Chahar, Piyush Chawla, Lungi Ngidi.
Rajasthan Royals (RR) - Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler(wk), Sanju Samson, Steve Smith(c), Robin Uthappa, Riyan Parag, Tom Curran, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat/Varun Aaron, Mayank Markande.
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