The 44th match of the Indian Premier League [IPL] will see Chennai Super Kings [CSK] square off against the Royal Challengers Bangalore [RCB] at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.
CSK is coming off a humiliating 10-wicket defeat at the hands of Mumbai Indians in their last fixture and with the chances of playoffs as good as over, they will be looking to salvage lost pride in the remaining three games.
Here’s a look at CSK’s probable XI against RCB-
Ruturaj Gaikwad got an opportunity to bat at the top of the order in the last game against the Mumbai Indians but the talented cricketer wasn’t able to make the most of the opportunity as he was dismissed for a 5-ball duck by Trent Boult.
With MS Dhoni indicating that youngsters will get opportunities in the remaining games, Gaikwad will get his chances to open and he would be hoping to make it count against RCB.
Faf du Plessis
After having smashed a plethora of runs in the first half of the tournament, Faf du Plessis’ form has tappered substantially.
In the last five games, the former South African skipper has managed 77 runs- 58 of those came in one innings- at an average of 15.4. In the last game too, Faf endured yet another failure as he succumbed to a 7-ball 1 off Trent Boult.
Barring the 71 he scored in the opening game against the Mumbai Indians, Ambati Rayudu has flattered to deceive this IPL.
Rayudu endured another failure in the last game thanks to short-pitch stuff by Jasprit Bumrah, managing a 3-ball 2.
Just like Ruturaj Gaikwad, N Jagadeesan failed to make the most of his opportunity in the last game as he was dismissed for a golden duck by Jasprit Bumrah.
Jagadeesan will be hoping to make it count against RCB.
MS Dhoni (C & WK)
MS Dhoni has tried his best but the champion wicketkeeper-batsman has just not been able to turn back the clock to the good old days.
In the last game, Dhoni found himself in the middle in the 3rd over, with the score reading 3-4. He smoked two fours and a six during his run-a-ball 16 before getting eventually dismissed by Rahul Chahar.
Ravindra Jadeja has had a memorable IPL 2020 campaign with the bat. The all-rounder has chipped in with brilliant cameos and has often been left stranded.
But, even Jadeja failed to pull CSK out of the rut in the last game and was dismissed for a 6-ball 7. As far as his bowling is concerned, Jadeja has been disappointing, having managed just 4 wickets in 11 games at an average of 65.25.
Sam Curran has been one of the few lone shining lights for CSK in what has largely been a forgettable season.
Curran has contributed with both bat and ball on pretty much every occasion. In the last game, Curran came to bat in the 6th over and he ensured that he batted till the very end to help CSK save the blushes.
The southpaw smoked a 47-ball 52- an innings which included four 4s and two sixes, and along with Imran Tahir, ensures CSK managed 9-114 after 20 overs.
Deepak Chahar has been decent for CSK in the powerplay. The right-hander has chipped in with early breakthroughs but even he wasn’t able to do anything against a rampaging Ishan Kishan and Quinton de Kock, giving 34 runs in his quota without any wicket.
Shardul Thakur has been brilliant for CSK in the middle and death overs and has on most occasions chipped in with some pretty crucial wickets.
In 8 games, Thakur has claimed 9 wickets at an average of 27.56.
After having been consigned to the bench in the first 10 games, Imran Tahir finally got his opportunity against the Mumbai Indians.
And, while he did not have enough runs to weave his magic with the ball, he made sure that he contributed with the bat. Tahir scored an unbeaten 10-ball 13, and along with Sam Curran, he ensured that CSK breached the 100-run mark.
Josh Hazlewood wasn’t able to make use of the new ball in the last game compared to what Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah had done, and was taken for 17 runs in his two overs. Hazlewood would be hoping to redeam himself against RCB.