Chennai Super Kings would be aiming to go top of the table but a determined Rajasthan Royals stand in the way as the two sides gear up to clash in an IPL match in Ranchi on Tuesday.
Tied on points with Kings XI Punjab, Chennai are second on the table due to a slightly lower net run-rate. Chennai have won seven of their nine games and are aiming for their third title. Rajasthan are not too far behind, occupying the third spot with six wins from nine matches. Given their fine run, both the teams would start as equals in the match even though it was Chennai who came out trumps the first time the two sides came face to face in this season.
Rajasthan are flying high after scoring an impressive win against Royal Challengers Bangalore against whom they chased down a massive 191-run target. In Karun Nair, they have discovered a fairly consistent batsman at the top who has silently worked towards cementing his place in the side. The likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Steven Smith and Sanju Samson have also been coming good, making Rajasthan a reasonbly strong line-up to deal with for any opposition attack. Skipper Shane Watson is, however, due to make a big impact in the tournament even though he has been producing fine cameos. (Yuvraj Says Defeat vs Royals 'Hurt')
On the other hand, Chennai are not any less when it comes to batting with an array of power-hitters such as Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum, Faf du Plessis besides skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. All these batsmen have been in fine form and it would take some effort by Rajasthan bowlers to contain them.
On the bowling front too, both the teams are evenly matched, but none of the sides feature any big name. Off-spinning all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is, however, Chennai's ex-factor and interestingly, he clinched the best bowling figures of the tournament so far, in the match against Rajasthan. Rajasthan, on the other hand, have discovered a late bloomer in 42-year-old leg-spinner Pravin Tambe, who has been in sparkling form.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (c), Suresh Raina, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith, Ashish Nehra, Mohit Sharma, Samuel Badree, Ben Hilfenhaus, Matt Henry, B Aparajith, Mithun Manhas, Ishwar Pandey, Pawan Negi, Vijay Shankar, Ronit More, John Hastings.
Rajasthan Royals: Shane Watson (c), Ajinkya Rahane, James Faulkner, Stuart Binny, Sanju Samson, Brad Hodge, Steven Smith, Abhishek Nayar, Ben Cutting, Kane Richardson, Tim Southee, Unmukt Chand, Ankush Bains, Vikramjeet Malik, Rahul Tewatia, Ankit Sharma, Amit Mishra, Deepak Hooda, Rajat Bhatia, Kevon Cooper, Iqbal Abdulla, Dhawal Kulkarni, Pravin Tambe, Karun Nair, Dishant Yagnik.