It’s time for the inaugural match in Sharjah, the third and the last venue in this year’s IPL.Rajasthan Royals will be playing their first match of the season against Chennai Super Kings who are coming of a thrilling win against MI.
RAJASTHAN – ARE THEY WORTHY?
● Overseas Conundrum
RR depends heavily on their first choice overseas players- Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Steve Smith. Ben Stokes in all likeliness is not going to be available for the tournament. To add to their woes, Buttler will miss out their opening encounter pertaining to quarantine regulations having brought his family. RR will have huge trouble filling in their shoes. David Miller and Tom Curran seem to be the likely replacements.
● Lack of Experienced Indian Players
Apart from Robin Uthappa, there is literally no Indian star in their squad. They do have a lot of promising players like Jaydev Unadkat, Shreyas Gopal, Sanju Samson and Varun Aaron, who have played a lot of cricket but they have failed to play the anchor who guides their team on more than one or two occasions.
● Youngsters’ Season
If RR is eyeing a play-off spot, their young indian contingent will have to fire. Yashasvi Jaiswal, the leading run scorer in the U19 world cup this year, Kartik Tyagi, Riyan Parag, Mahipal Lomror and the likes will have to step up and make it count.
CSK – THE DAD’S ARMY
● Experience and Class to Start
CSK gathered 2 points when they beat their arch rivals MI in the season opener 2 nights back. The experience of Rayudu and the class of Faf Du Plessis brought them home. Bowlers like Ngidi, Chawla and the surprise package of Sam Curran worked well for them. There seems to be no deliberation for them to make a change in their playing XI for the match against RR.
● The Opening Issue
Shane Watson has had troubles lately being consistent. Has he still got it in him is a big question given that the 39 years old scored 398 runs last year at an average of 28 and strike rate of 127. Although it looks decent, but CSK would want the veteran to firstly start good and secondly to convert those starts. Murli Vijay too looked out of sorts in the last game, not even taking what seemed to be an obvious review.
Chennai Super Kings : Shane Watson, Murli Vijay, Faf Du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni(c,wk), Kedar Jadhav, Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja, Lungi Ngidi, Piyush Chawla, Deepak Chahar
Rajasthan Royals: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Robin Uthappa/Manan Vohra, Steve Smith(c), Sanju Samson(wk), Riyan Parag, Mahipal Lomror, Tom Curran, Jofra Archer, Kartik Tyagi, Shreyas Gopal, Varun Aaron/Andrew Tye
DATE: 22nd September, 2020
TIME: 7:30 pm (IST)
PLACE: SHARJAH CRICKET STADIUM, SHARJAH