There is little to separate as Rajasthan Royals,who have turned the Sawai Mansingh Stadium into a fortress with a 12-match winning streak,lock horns with the ever-formidable Chennai Super Kings in the first semifinal of the Champions League Twenty20.
Rajasthan Royals breezed into the last-four stage of the tournament with an unbeaten four-match streak while the Super Kings,the first team to have advanced to the semifinals,stumbled in their final group game against Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday.
Former champions CSK are aware that their opponents have not lost a single game in this venue in the last Indian Premier League,and add the home side’s performance in the ongoing tournament,the record surely wears an invincible look. Considering that they will be playing in front of the home crowd,the scenario is ideal for RR skipper Rahul Dravid,though he also knows that the tournament’s toughest challenge awaits them.
The hosts know the conditions like the back of their hands and the strategies that they planned had been executed well. But then again,the CSK,led by the redoubtable Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni,could be an altogether different proposition.
Rajasthan would do well to not read too much into CSK’s defeat last night. On a day when nothing went right after three successive wins,the famed CSK outfit crashed to an eight-wicket defeat after being bowled out for 118.
While the CSK bowlers had no answer to T & T’s Lendl Simmons (63),they would hope to dish out a much better display with both bat and ball.
The visitors have tremendous depth in their batting and bowling. In Dhoni,they have a cool and shrewd skipper who is also in blazing from with the willow. Though he may not have done much against T&T,Dhoni’s 19-ball 63-run knock against Hyderabad Sunrisers is testimony to the kind of form he is in.