Rajasthan Royals host Chennai Super Kings at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in match 25 of the Indian Premier League on Thursday. Both the teams have experienced contrasting fortunes so far with Rajasthan lying at number seven while Chennai are at the top of the points table. In their IPL history, both the teams have met each other on 21 occasions with Chennai holding the edge with 13 wins.
In IPL 2019, Rajasthan have managed just one win out of five matches and their only success came against Royal Challengers Bangalore at home. In contrast, CSK have been winning convincingly with their latest success against Kolkata Knight Riders (a seven-wicket win ).
CSK boasts of a well-balanced squad as seen in the previous matches. The Royals, on the other hand, are struggling to find consistency. To keep their playoff chances alive, the Royals need to win almost all their remaining matches.
Ajinkya Rahane’s Rajasthan have been guilty of letting opportunities go by. They will also hope that their foreign stars fire in unison. Sanju Samson, who had hit the first ton of this IPL, is yet to recover from injury.
Skipper Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Ben Stokes and Jos Butler have failed to impress. However, Rahane feels there is no need to hit the panic button yet.
“I think there’s no need for us to panic yet. Out of the five matches that we played, we lost badly in just one game. We played well in our last four matches, out of which we could have won three. It’s not too late for us,” he had said after the loss against KKR.
CSK, on the other hand, have a strong batting with Shane Watson and Fau Du Plessis at the top while the middle-order consists of Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jhadav and Dhoni. CSK’s bowling unit, which has an impressive mix of pace and spin, will look to exploit the Sawai Man Singh wicket, which has been playing slow and low.
Pitch Report: Both teams will have to bear with the rising temperatures in the Pink City with temperatures nearing 40 degrees Celsius. The possibility of a dust storm still exists after occurring in the last match. The pitch has a fair cover of grass and is expected to be a suit batting. A par score on this ground will be 180.
Rajasthan Royals: Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Ashton Turner, Ish Sodhi, Oshane Thomas, Liam Livingstone, Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson, Shubham Ranjane, Stuart Binny, Shreyas Gopal, Sudhesan Midhun, Jaydev Unadkat, Prashant Chopra, Mahipal Lomror, Aryaman Birla, Riyan Parag, Dhawal Kulkarni, Krishnappa Gowtham, Varun Aaron, Shashank Singh, Manan Vohra, Rahul Tripathi.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (captain & WK), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Murali Vijay, Kedar Jadhav, Sam Billings, Ravindra Jadeja, Dhruv Shorey, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Rituraj Gaikwad, Dwayne Bravo, Karn Sharma, Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Santner, Shardul Thakur, Mohit Sharma, K M Asif, Deepak Chahar, N Jagadeesan (wk), Scott Kuggeleign.
(With inputs from PTI)