IPL: CSK has upperhand as Rajasthan come visiting
Chennai: On a high after back-to-back triumphs, former champions Chennai Super Kings would look to maintain their winning streak when they take on Rajasthan Royals in an IPL match here on Monday.
The home team has clicked collectively in its wins with all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja proving to be a crucial cog in its scheme of things.
Another all-rounder Dwayne Bravo and new recruits Chris Morris and Mohit Sharma have also done their bit to bolster the team but batting would be a concern for them given the struggle they endured while chasing a small total against Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday.
It was Jadeja`s blitzkrieg which powered the visitors to a four-wicket win after they found themselves in a tight corner when they were reduced to 89 for six in the 17th over.
Apart from Jadeja, the in-form Mike Hussey (40 off 51) played a sensible innings at the top to keep CSK in the hunt even thought wickets kept falling at the other end.
Hussey had earlier made a stellar 65 not out from 50 balls that was instrumental in handing CSK an 86-run win against Delhi Daredevils.
But the poor forms of Murali Vijay and Suresh Raina are a massive concern for the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side.
CSK had a surprise hero in young Mohit Sharma when the Haryana quickie, in his second IPL match, splintered through the famed Daredevils top-order including the wickets of David Warner and Virender Sehwag, returning with figures of 3/10.
Sharma will have the guidance of Albie Morkel in the pace department while the duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Jadeja would look after the spin department.
Rajasthan Royals, meanwhile, also have some batting worries to deal with after their loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday night.
"We still haven`t played our best cricket and hopefully we can do that," admitted Dravid on Saturday night.
The Royals, who won the title in the inaugural season, have not depended too much on one individual; theirs have been a collective effort to script victories.
Currently fourth in the points table, Royals would have to improve their away record, which is not too impressive.
Even though they flopped against RCB last night, Ajinkya Rahane, Dravid along with S Sreesanth and Sidharth Trivedi have been quite consistent in the tournament so far.
Given that they are quite evenly matched on paper, an interesting battle is on the cards between the two former champions.
Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt and wk), Michael Hussey, Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo, Subaramaniam Badrinath, Ravindra Jadeja, Albie Morkel, Chris Morris, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohit Sharma, Srikkanth Anirudha, Baba Aparajith, Akila Dananjaya, Faf du Plessis, Ben Hilfenhaus, Jason Holder, Imtiaz Ahmed, Shadab Jakati, R Karthikeyan, Nuwan Kulasekara, Ben Laughlin, Ronit More, Dirk Nannes, Ankit Rajpoot, Wriddhiman Saha and Vijay Shankar.
Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Stuart Binny, S Sreesanth, Shaun Tait, Siddharth Trivedi, Shane Watson, Dishant Yagnik, Ajit Chandila, Ankeet Chavan, Kevon Cooper, Fidel Edwards, James Faulkner, Shreevats Goswami, Samuel Badree, Harmeet Singh, Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, Vikramjeet Malik, Kumar Boresa, Ashok Menaria, Kusal Perera, Sachin Baby, Sanju Samson, Owais Shah, Rahul Shukla, Amit Singh, Pravin Tambe.