In what promises to be a mouth-watering IPL 2023 contest, Chennai Super Kings host Rajasthan Royals at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Wednesday, April 12. It will be momentous occasion as MS Dhoni will CSK for the 200th time in the IPL, the most by a captain in the history of the popular T20 league.
Chennai Super Kings have an envious record at home and they began their run at Chepauk by beating a powerful Lucknow Super Giants side earlier in the month. Even thought the match against Lucknow was a high-scoring affair, MS Dhoni controlled the game with his spinners with Moeen Ali and Mitchell Santner picking up 5 wickets between them for just 47 runs in 8 overs in a match where more than 420 runs were scored.
MS Dhoni said he was surprised by the high-scoring nature of the pitch at the MA Chidambaram Stadium but spinners are expected to keep playing their part in Chennai. The rising temperature in the South Indian city is going to tilt the game in favour of the tweakers and Dhoni has the firepower to protect the fortress at home.
Ravindra Jadeja confirmed on Tuesday that Moeen Ali, who missed their win in Mumbai due to illness is back to add to the spin-bowling arsenal. However, Rajasthan Royals also have the tools to make a mark in Chennai.
Local hero R Ashwin will be a key player in Wednesday’s outing in Chennai while Yuzvendra Chahal can also be a handful at Chepauk. Rajasthan Royals used M Ashwin as their Impact Player earlier in the tournament and the Tamil Nadu spinner will be keen on making an impact at home on Wednesday.
It’s going to be an intriguing battle of spin and all eyes will be on Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal after their strong start to the IPL 2023 season. Both the Rajasthan openers have hit a couple of fifties each at healthy strike rates but they will have to pass the trial by spin in Chennai.
Sanju Samson will be keen on putting on a show with the bat after a couple of failures while the rest of the Rajasthan batting line-up needs to step up collectively.
On the other hand, Ajinkya Rahane’s stunning debut for CSK has added to the problem of plenty for CSK, who will be hoping their openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway step up and negate new-ball threat of Trent Boult, who has been on fire with his wickets in the powerplay for Rajasthan.
The finalists from the inaugural edition met only once in 2022. Rajasthan Royals comfortably chased down a 151-run target as R Ashwin came up with an all-round effort at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. Moeen Ali’s 93, a lone warrior effort, went in vain.
Matches Played – 26 in IPL
CSK won – 15
RR won – 11
INJURY CONCERNS, CSK vs RR
Chennai Super Kings will be without Deepak Chahar, who had a recurrance of his hamstring injury in Mumbai. The pacer is expected to be out for a while. On the other hand, Ben Stokes will need a couple more days before he returns to action for CSK.
However, the availability of Moeen Ali and Sri Lankan spinner Maheesh Theekshana is a big boost to CSK. It remains to be seen where CSK will slot Theekshana in as their overseas stars have been doing the job well.
On the other hand, Rajasthan are without any major injury concerns.
Pitch and Conditions
The Chepauk pitch surprised MS Dhoni by being a batting paradise for their first game of the season against Lucknow Super Giants. But, expet the pitch to keep offering assistance to spinners.
CSK vs RR: Predicted Staring XIs
CSK: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Ajinkya Rahane, Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper), Mitchell Santner, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Tushar Deshpande, Dwaine Pretorius
RR: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson (captain and wicketkeeper), Dhruv Jurel, Shimron Hetmyer, Riyan Parag, Jason Holder, R Ashwin, M Ashwin, Trent Boult, Yuzvendra Chahal