RR vs CSK IPL 2021 Preview: 2nd Oct - Inconsistent Rajasthan run into table-toppers Chennai
CSK are flying in autopilot mode and don't need to do anything different.
Difference in quality between two sides
There will be two gulfs in play as Rajasthan Royals take on Chennai Super Kings at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. First, the venue, and second, the quality of both sides.
While Chennai Super Kings are placed at the top of the pile with 9 victories from 11 matches and recently became the first team to qualify for the playoffs after a thumping 6-wicket victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rajasthan Royals are placed at the second-last spot and are effectively just one loss away from getting ruled out of the playoffs race.
Riyan Parag's unreasonably long rope
Rajasthan Royals' team selection has been a point of concern. Accepted that they have been hamstrung by the absence of their star players Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer. Any team would be jolted by the absence of such big stars.
To add to that, the likes of Liam Livingstone and Chris Morris have not been able to make a mark. At the same time, the Royals have made a few selection errors as well. Rahul Tewatia and Riyan Parag have not been able to fire but have been given an unreasonably long rope. It is time for Shivam Dube to replace Parag in the playing XI.
Time to bench Morris
Chris Morris has also been average at best in the three matches that he has played in the second leg of IPL 2021 and has conceded 47 and 50 runs in two of these matches without making an impression with the bat.
With the likes of Evin Lewis, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson, Liam Livingstone, Mahipal Lomror and Rahul Tewatia available, Rajasthan have enough batting depth and need to bolster their bowling at the cost of Morris. They can look towards Oshane Thomas or Tabrez Shamsi to provide themselves the X Factor and assist Kartik Tyagi, Chetan Sarkariya and Mustafizur Rahman in restricting the opposition for a low total.
CSK in autopilot
Chennai, on the other hand, do not have a lot to do. All they need to do is to turn up and play the way they have been playing in the tournament.
In terms of their playing XI, Dwayne Bravo has jumped ahead of Sam Curran in the pecking order. Although the form of Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni has not been great, they have earned the right to get some leeway.
Predicted playing XIs
Chennai Super Kings - Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Josh Hazlewood
Rajasthan Royals - Yashasvi Jaiswal, Evin Lewis, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Liam Livingstone, Mahipal Lomror, Shivam Dube, Rahul Tewatia, Oshane Thomas/Tabraiz Shamsi, Kartik Tyagi, Chetan Sakariya, Mustafizur Rahman
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