IPL 2018: Match 17, CSK vs RR - Chennai Super Kings Predicted XI

IPL 2018: Match 17, CSK vs RR – Chennai Super Kings Predicted XI

Will MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina play?

CSK practice session
CSK practice session. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will lock horns against Rajasthan Royals (RR) at their new home ground MCA International Stadium in Pune. While the Men in Yellow lost their last game against Punjab only by 4 runs in Mohali, Royals were beaten at home by Knight Riders the other day quite comfortably. Both the teams would be eager to come back to the winning track. However, it is supposed to be a home game for CSK  and no doubt there will be support for them from the localites given the popularity of MS Dhoni.

Dhoni has played a lot in Pune in the last couple of editions of IPL as he was featuring for Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) and should feel like playing at home itself. Though the team will miss their loyal fans who are set to arrive in Pune in a special train from Chennai courtesy an interesting step from the franchise. Though the team will have to get acclimatised to the conditions and play well in order to defeat the Royals which should make up for an exciting encounter.

Here we bring you the predicted XI Chennai Super Kings for the game:

Openers (Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson)

Ambati Rayudu should return to the top and open the innings for his team as Murali Vijay failed to impress in the last game. He has played well so far in the tournament and the team management would be hoping for him to do the same. He has scored 110 runs in 3 matches with an amazing strike rate of 137.50 which is impressive of the lot and should be hoping to continue in the same vein.

Shane Watson’s form has been crucial for CSK. He has been providing breakthroughs with the ball in hand and has given them blistering starts in two of the three matches. He was dismissed early in the last game and would be itching to put that knock behind. He can come back with a bang as he is due a big innings now after playing few cameos for a long time.

Middle Order (Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (c), Sam Billings (wk))

Suresh Raina is fit and should return to the side in place of Vijay. He was seen in full flow in the net sessions ahead of the game and it will be a big boost for CSK as they missed him a lot in the last match. Raina too would want to make a mark as he hasn’t got himself going this season so far and much like Watson, the left-hander is due a big knock. A fully fit and explosive Raina might be on view in the upcoming matches.

MS Dhoni almost won them the last game with a magnificent knock of 79* runs but injured his back in the process. Though it is not clear if he will play in this game, it is most likely that he will give up his keeping to Sam Billings and play as a proper batsman and the skipper. Dhoni’s presence is important for any team and with the form he is in, the veteran can change the state of a game on his own.

Sam Billings will have an extra responsibility of keeping the wickets as well in this game. He was the match-winner in his debut game for CSK but failed to replicate the same against KXIP and would be itching to play a defining innings again. He might bat again at 5 where he sizzled against KKR while gunning down the huge total. It is important for him to finish the games and be consistent in his performances.

All-Rounders (Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja)

Dwayne Bravo hasn’t got much to bat after winning the tournament opener for CSK as they have backed Ravindra Jadeja more. He will need few deliveries to get his eye in and has to bat at 6 to reap more rewards. As far as his bowling is concerned, it needs to improve a bit as he went for a lot of runs in the last game. He is a master of death overs and even he must have realised by now that he should bowl well to restrict the opposition in the final few overs.

Ravindra Jadeja’s role as a bowler is under the scanner as the left-hander hasn’t bowled much in the previous games. Moreover, he hasn’t contributed with the bat as well which puts more pressure on him going into this game. Dhoni is developing him to become the finisher but he should also respond positively to the same.

Bowlers (David Willey, Harbhajan Singh, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur)

The bowling attack looks a little thin for CSK and for that reason, David Willey might come into the playing XI at the expense of Imran Tahir. England cricketer is a brilliant bowler and could be used as a floater with the bat as well. His exploits with the bat in T20s are well known. But CSK will need him more as a bowler upfront and at the death as well. It will be interesting to see the way he plays if Willey makes his IPL debut against RR.

Harbhajan Singh has bowled well so far in last 3 games but he needs to be a wicket-taker. He has done well in terms of keeping the batsman on their toes and has to bring to the fore all his experience at the highest level. Shardul Thakur too has been poor with his execution so far and it’s important that he repays the faith shown in him by the team management. Dhoni looks up to him as one of the better bowlers in the Indian team and he will only improve after playing more matches.

Deepak Chahar is also under pressure after being tonked by Chris Gayle in the last game. He started the season on a promising note by picking the wicket of Evin Lewis but has faded away since then. Chahar is the new ball bowler and the skipper doesn’t use him at the backend of the innings. So he has to deliver upfront and break the back of the opposition early in the innings.

Here’s the CSK predicted XI against RR

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