RR vs CSK, October 2 2021, 7:30 PM IST
The first team to seal a playoffs spot in the Indian Premier League 2021, the Chennai Super Kings’ true colours are quite visibly vivid. They’ve now made the IPL playoffs in 11 editions of 12. A comfortable six-wicket win over the Sunrisers Hyderabad helped CSK to their fourth win in a row, with no losses in the UAE leg yet.
A key factor in CSK’s success has been stability – both in batting and bowling. Their openers have given them good starts, their middle order has handled spin well, enjoying the cushion of batting really deep. Although spin has been used quite less, the pacers have done their job more than satisfactorily. While the clinical CSK team looks unstoppable, they’re up against a struggling Rajasthan Royals, who have foolishly let go of three chances now of breaking into the top four.
RR have only one win since the tournament moved to the UAE and are in search for an answer to their batting problems. Having struggled in the PowerPlays in the Indian leg, they’re now struggling to finish games off with their middle order in desperate need for runs.
Evin Lewis, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Sanju Samson are the only ones among the runs. Chris Morris has struggled in the UAE, while Liam Livingstone is yet to make an impact. They are now hanging by a thread with their remaining three games must-wins.
Venue : Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
What to expect: The wickets in Abu Dhabi haven’t been as pacey as they were in 2020. However, chasing has been a more comfortable option for the evening games. The temperature will be around 37 degrees around match-time with high humidity.
Head To Head: RR 9 – 15 CSK. Undoubtedly, CSK have a hold over RR. Moeen Ali claimed 3 for 7 in the reverse fixture at the Wankhede Stadium earlier this year.
Injured/Unavailable: No new injuries since RR’s last game against RCB
Possible Changes : Livingstone’s low scores may see David Miller or Glenn Philips given a chance and RR may replace Parag with Shivam Dube to add to the batting depth given his series of single-digit scores.
Probable XI: Evin Lewis, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Liam Livingstone/David Miller, Mahipal Lomror, Riyan Parag/Shivam Dube/Shreyas Gopal, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris/Oshane Thomas, Chetan Sakariya, Kartik Tyagi, Mustafizur Rahman
Chennai Super Kings
Injured/Unavailable: No new injuries since CSK’s last game against SRH
Possible Changes: In order to manage workload, Hazlewood may be rested for Sam Curran.
Probable XI: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Josh Hazlewood/Sam Curran.
– 453 runs by Samson is the most for him in a season in IPL and this is the first time he has averaged 35+ in a season.
– CSK and RR are two sides that have used the fewest overs of spin – 25.7% and 26.3% respectively.
Who will win?
CSK. Given the form CSK are in and the big teams they have defeated, I feel this match will be a rather cakewalk for CSK. They will win it comfortably, with most probably big scores from Ruturaj and Rayudu.