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Cricket news - CSK, RR look to establish Wankhede familiarisation

MS Dhoni will be pleased with how Deepak Chahar refound his PowerPlay mojo against PBKS.

MS Dhoni will be pleased with how Deepak Chahar refound his PowerPlay mojo against PBKS.

Outlook

When Suresh Raina got to his fifty against Delhi Capitals and indulged in a bit of crest-thumping, it felt like CSK had restored to a familiar checkpoint. After IPL 2020 was full of lags and bugs, Raina's quick and seamless reintegration was an early win for the franchise that inexplicably finished seventh last year.

Yet, MS Dhoni will be quietly pleased more about how Deepak Chahar refound his PowerPlay mojo against PBKS, allowing the captain to dictate terms with the ball like he's enjoyed doing all through his years of success. Chahar's wicket-taking skills at the start helps click CSK's middle-overs spin choke into gear and sets up a low-scoring game that is right up CSK's alley.

Intriguingly though, Rajasthan Royals come with an eerily relevant experience of reworking an innings after a big early collapse - David Miller and Chris Morris pulled RR out of a burrow at 42 for 5 to chase down DC's 147 for 8. Even in the first game, where they lost by an agonisingly slim margin, RR had chasing positives to take away.

When: Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals, Match 12, IPL 2021, 07:30 PM IST

Where: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

What to expect: 16 wickets have fallen in the PowerPlay at the Wankhede so far, with 15 of them picked by pacers. This was the edifice of CSK and RR's wins, as Chahar and Jaydev Unadkat ripped through batting orders. Batting second is still the way to go at this venue.

Head To Head: Chennai Super Kings have a superior 14-9 tally against Rajasthan Royals, but lost both their fixtures in the UAE last season.

Team Watch:

Chennai Super Kings

Player availability: Lungi Ngidi has finally joined up with the squad and could be a handy option at the Wankhede. But it'd be very unlike CSK to make a change right after a victory. Yet, one opening spot could be up for grabs after Ruturaj Gaikwad struggled his way to a 16-ball five against PBKS. CSK have Robin Uthappa waiting in the wings to make that top-order spot his own.

Tactics & Match-ups: Should Sanju Samson be summoned to the crease inside the PowerPlay overs, how he does against Chahar could shape the game going forward. Samson has faced 28 balls from the CSK pacer, hit 39 runs off it and has been dismissed thrice. The RR captain has also struggled against CSK overall, scoring just 154 runs (including a 74 last year) in 9 innings at an average of 17.00.

Probable XI: Ruturaj Gaikwad/Robin Uthappa, Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Sam Curran, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar

Rajasthan Royals

Player availability: RR continue to be without Jofra Archer, who has only just been given a go-ahead to resume 'light training' after undergoing surgery on March 29.

Tactics & Match-ups: If not for Ben Stokes's exit from this season due to an injury, David Miller may have spent another season on RR's bench. He took his chance wonderfully against PBKS, and could yet be the key against CSK too. He has two fifties against them in 10 meetings and has been particularly devastating against Ravindra Jadeja's left-arm spin (85 runs off 49 balls), which could disrupt a few of Dhoni's middle-over plans.

With the ball, Chris Morris holds the aces for RR. He has dismissed two of CSK's top-four (Suresh Raina and Faf du Plessis) thrice each and has nine wickets in five games against the three-time champions.

Yashasvi Jaiswal is a top-order option, should RR consider tinkering with the line-up that endured a collapse in the previous game.

Probable XI: Manan Vohra/Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Shivam Dube, David Miller, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Jaydev Unadkat, Chetan Sakariya, Mustafizur Rahman

Did You Know:

- Suresh Raina has 609 runs in 21 innings against RR, including four half-centuries.

- Ravindra Jadeja has picked 16 wickets in as many games against RR

- Sanju Samson has had a tournament of two halves since IPL 2018: Average in the first three games - 67.56; Average for the rest of the tournament - 16.41

- This game will be MS Dhoni's 200th game in the IPL as CSK captain

What They Said:

"Moeen is a very good timer of the ball and plays authentic shots. We felt if Moeen bats up the order, we can make use of the resources that we got. We have to make the most of our resources." - MS Dhoni on using one of his newer recruits up the order.

"There are guys who get paid to bat and there are guys who get paid to slog, I know what I am. I am a slogger that swings everything I can, I play so much golf." - Chris Morris on his match-turning effort against PBKS.