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IPL 2021, RCB vs CSK Predicted Playing XI: Maxwell’s slump adds to Kohli’s pressure, Curran adds to Dhoni’s problem of plenty

IPL 2021, RCB vs CSK Predicted Playing XI: Both Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore are in the top half of the points table but are in very different form.

By: Sports Desk |
September 24, 2021 11:30:21 am
Virat Kohli of RCB and MS Dhoni of CSK (File Photo/BCCI)

IPL 2021, RCB vs CSK Predicted Playing XI: When Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore take on MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings in their Indian Premier League (IPL) clash on Friday evening, it will be a clash between two teams in the top half of the table but with very different form. CSK have a game in hand and are set to return to the top of the table with a win. RCB, still 3rd on the points table, suffered a convincing defeat in their last match, and will be looking to arrest the slide.

RCB mull Tim David as Maxwell slump adds to Kohli’s pressure

There are a few problems for RCB at the outset of the match — they suffered a batting implosion in their last match, they have a track record of losing momentum fast and the added pressure on skipper Virat Kohli. Kohli is not usually affected by defeats as India captain, but the demands of franchise cricket means that permutations and combinations need to be done to the playing XI.

Kohli has already announced that he will relinquish RCB captaincy after this season, but the demands of franchise cricket are another source of pressure — David Warner was sacked as Sunrisers Hyderabad captain midway through the season earlier this year. Another defeat for RCB would mount the pressure on Kohli’s captaincy manifold.

The big decision for RCB would be surrounding Glenn Maxwell. Acquired for 14.25 INR at the auctions before this season, has the Australian justified his price tag? His records for the season show that while he got off to a solid start to the season with scores of 39, 59 and 78, he has managed just 57 runs in his last five matches for RCB. The possible replacement for him if RCB decide to ‘change the man’ would be Singaporean-Australian Tim David, who was whacking the ball into the stands in the Big Bash League and the T20 Blast.

Curran’s availability adds to CSK’s problem of plenty

CSK, on the other hand, would be in a buoyant mood. It was thought the seam-friendly pitches in the UAE would bog them down and they would be like ducks out of water outside the Chepauk. That had been proved wrong. It was also thought when they suffered a top-order collapse in their last match that they would lose. That was also proved wrong.

The problem for CSK is the problem of plenty. Sam Curran was unavailable for selection in the last match because he was still serving his quarantine period. His availability means that the lower order is likely to be shuffled around. Josh Hazlewood could be the bowler dropped from the XI to accommodate Curran, even though CSK might think twice about sacrificing Hazlewood’s pace. Dwayne Bravo’s all-round show in the last match should make him an automatic inclusion.

In the batting department, Ambati Rayudu’s injury, which forced him to walk off the field last match, is CSK’s only concern. If Rayudu is unavailable, N Jagadeesan or Cheteshwar Pujara might be slotted in.

Likely XIs

RCB: Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli (C), Srikar Bharat (WK), AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell/Tim David, Sachin Baby/Rajat Patidar, Wanindu Hasaranga, Kyle Jamieson, Harshal Patel, Mohammad Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal

CSK: Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu/N Jagadeesan, MS Dhoni (C & WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar

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