Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore Look To Spoil MS Dhoni-Led Chennai Super Kings' Party

Updated: 20 April 2019 16:22 IST

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have 14 points in their kitty and are one win away from booking a playoff spot.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli-led RCB stand in the way of CSK's play-off berth. © BCCI/IPL

A much-improved Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), led by their flamboyant skipper Virat Kohli stand in the way of MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings (CSK) as they look to book a playoff berth in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday. The defending champions, in the absence of their regular skipper MS Dhoni registered a rare loss in the previous match and find themselves one win short of booking a place in the final four of the lucrative tournament.

"Probably he (MS Dhoni) will play in the next game against RCB," stand-in skipper Suresh Raina had said after the loss to SRH.

Following the tournament opener between CSK and RCB in Chennai, both teams have had contrasting campaigns. While CSK have lived up to their reputation again, RCB continue to under-perform.

No doubt, RCB will be fired up after the win against KKR at Kolkata on Friday night when they finally managed to defend despite a brutal assault from Andre Russell and Nitish Rana.

It was only their second win in nine games in the season so far though they it still kept them mathematically alive in the tournament.

RCB could also take a cue from a similar situation in 2016 when they had lost five of their first seven games, but ended up in the playoffs after winning six of their last seven matches.

In the absence of indisposed AB de Villiers on Friday, Virat Kohli took it all upon himself to post a big total and in the process scored his first century of the season.

With AB expected to be back, RCB will be aiming to please their loyal fans with a victory at last on their home ground.

Despite the arrival of Dale Steyn, their bowling remains a worry as it was evident at the Eden Gardens where Russell and Rana almost pulled off the impossible after KKR needed 113 off the last six overs.

The hosts just fell short by 10 runs as Moeen Ali saved the day for RCB with both bat and ball, having defended 24 in the final over.

On the the other hand, CSK will fancy themselves against RCB and sail into the play-offs. Dhoni, who has scored 230 runs in eight games including two half-centuries, will hold the key once again.

The star bowler for CSK this season has been 40-year-old Imran Tahir, who has taken 13 wickets. The South African import has executed his skipper's plans brilliantly.

Squads:

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), Parthiv Patel, AB de Villiers, Colin de Grandhomme, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Moeen Ali, Shimron Hetmyer, Dale Steyn, Shivam Dube, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Devdutt Padikkal, Himmat Singh, Milind Kumar, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Heinrich Klaasen, Pawan Negi, Washington Sundar, Akshdeep Nath, Prayas Ray Barman, Kulwant Khejroliya, Tim Southee.

Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (captain & WK), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Murali Vijay, Kedar Jadhav, Sam Billings, Ravindra Jadeja, Dhruv Shorey, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Rituraj Gaikwad, Dwayne Bravo, Karn Sharma, Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Santner, Shardul Thakur, Mohit Sharma, K M Asif, Deepak Chahar, N Jagadeesan (wk), Scott Kuggeleijn.

Match starts 8pm.

(With PTI inputs)

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Topics mentioned in this article Royal Challengers Bangalore Royal Challengers Bangalore Chennai Super Kings Chennai Super Kings IPL 2019 Virat Kohli Virat Kohli Mahendra Singh Dhoni MS Dhoni Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Chennai Super Kings, Match 39 Cricket
Highlights
  • Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have 14 points in their kitty
  • CSK are one win away from booking a playoff spot
  • CSK and RCB have had contrasting campaigns
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