RCB, CSK Face Sharjah Inquest Of Batting Brawn

Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - RCB, CSK face Sharjah inquest of batting brawn. RCB are securely placed in the top-half but another defeat coupled with their bad NRR will enthuse lower-half suitors to take their place

RCB, CSK Face Sharjah Inquest Of Batting BrawnRCB are securely placed in the top-half but another defeat coupled with their bad NRR will enthuse lower-half suitors to take their place

The Overview:

“A bit of a wake-up call” was how Virat Kohli described Royal Challengers Bangalore's insipid first game back in IPL 2021. With five wins from eight, Kohli's side is still securely placed in the top-half of the standings but a NRR of -0.706 could bear a sinister ring if his team can't get on the board in the second half quickly enough.

Standing in RCB's way at Sharjah is a familiar, clad-in-yellow adversary, responsible for many an old scar and also a new one that nudged the aforementioned run-rate into a tailspin. Chennai Super Kings matched RCB with a dysfunctional start with the bat in their own return game but unlike their next opponents, found at least one batter – Ruturaj Gaikwad – to first, arrest the momentum, and then provide the thrust that the bowlers could carry for a win.

The challenge for both sides at Sharjah, the smallest of the three venues in the competition, would be to maximise their batting resources across 20 overs. It fits closely into the CSK playbook of 2021 that has seen MS Dhoni's men use their enviable batting depth and shed their usual conservative approach. Despite being overmatched in quantity, RCB possess enough quality to provide the perfect tonic to set their promising campaign on the road again.

When: RCB vs CSK, September 24, 2021, 19:30 IST

Where: Sharjah Cricket Stadium

What to expect:At the start of the 2020 season, Sharjah was the proverbial bowlers' graveyard with its true surface and minuscule boundary distances. Seven of the first eight innings here witnessed scores of 200 or more. Five of the first six games were won by teams batting first. While CSK experienced it first-hand against Sanju Samson & Co, the pitch had slowed down significantly in the second half when RCB played their three games here.

Head To Head: CSK 17-9 RCB. CSK have also won 9 of the last 11 encounters between the teams. The last clash between the sides at the Wankhede Stadium was a Ravindra Jadeja one-man show. He plundered 62* off 28 including 37 off a Harshal Patel over, took 3 for 13 with the ball and even effected a run-out.

Team Watch:

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Injured/Availability: Left-arm pacer George Garton is still in quarantine and will not be available for selection.

Tactics & Matchups:

Navdeep Saini played just the one match in the India leg of the tournament, against CSK. As Adam Milne & Mumbai Indians showed, there maybe some pace vulnerability in this CSK side setup to destroy spin. Saini could also provide death-bowling insurance on a ground that'll need it. On the batting front, RCB will be better served by using Tim David's explosive finishing to ease the pressure on the middle-order.

Probable XI: Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, KS Bharat (wk), Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers, Tim David/Wanindu Hasaranga, Kyle Jamieson, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini

Chennai Super Kings

Injuries/Availability: Sam Curran is available for selection once more after serving his six-day quarantine. CSK are expected to have a clean bill of health for the game after Stephen Fleming, CSK's head coach, confirmed that the blow Ambati Rayudu had copped to the forearm had only caused a bad bruising and not a bone break. It remains to be seen if he's cleared to play.

Tactics & Matchups:

While Curran may be available for selection, CSK are likely to persist with Dwayne Bravo, who (when fit) offers relatively better death-bowling pedigree besides hitting abilities that are once again on the rise. Expect to see Jadeja used against Glenn Maxwell, a player the left-arm spinner has dismissed five times in 36 balls in the IPL.

Probable XI: Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni (c&wk), Dwayne Bravo/Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Josh Hazlewood

Did you know?

– Harshal Patel has dismissed Faf du Plessis twice in 13 balls and Ambati Rayudu four times in 36 balls in the IPL

– Virat Kohli's 151 runs off 98 deliveries from Dwayne Bravo is the most runs off a bowler in IPL without ever being dismissed.

– MS Dhoni has scored 824 runs at 141.50 against RCB, the most he's scored against a single franchise in the IPL.

What they said:

“As professional cricketers, you are expected to turn up and adjust to the formats, that's the dynamic of world cricket today. We have never found any trouble doing that but sometimes it can take you a game to get into the tournament.” – Virat Kohli on the challenges of a densely-packed schedule and its impact on a slow start vs KKR.

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