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IPL 2019: Match 1, CSK vs RCB, Preview – Curtain-raiser promises to be a blockbuster clash

Who will take the early honours to start the season?

Kedar Jadhav
Kedar Jadhav. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is here! Also, two of the favourite sons of the country, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli will walk out for the toss at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in front of the jam-packed crowd to make it a perfect start to the world’s best T20 league. The defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will face-off on Saturday in the season opener and it is expected to be a humdinger of an encounter.

Lungi Ngidi’s injury which ruled him out of the season must’ve definitely disturbed CSK’s plans going into the season. But they have the arsenal to make it up with some fine players. Having said that, the team lacks an out and out fast bowler now. Apart from Dwayne Bravo, Dhoni will have to make do with the Indian bowling contingent in the pace department.

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He will also be hoping that the spinners and the batsman cover for them effectively this season which has been the team’s strength historically.

The RCB also have a similar kind of headache. Tim Southee and Colin de Grandhomme will be joining just ahead of the game and one of them might have to take the field straight away. Southee looks the likeliest candidate at the moment who will also have to lead the bowling attack. Once again, the batting looks strong for them but the same can’t be said about their bowling.

Kohli and AB de Villiers have got a cushion this time of another explosive batsman in Shimron Hetmyer. Marcus Stoinis is still not available as he is in the UAE for the ODI series against Pakistan.

Team Combinations

Chennai Super Kings (CSK)

Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu will open the innings like last year with the ever-consistent, also known as Mr IPL, Suresh Raina to bat at three. Dhoni is set to take up the floater’s role and is likely to come out at four with Kedar Jadhav and Sam Billings to follow. Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja are two of the best all-rounders in the format and even Deepak Chahar can tonk the ball a fair way.

Apart from these three bowlers, Mohit Sharma and Imran Tahir are the other specialists which make up a strong bowling attack. Even Kedar Jadhav can roll his arm and Watson will bowl if needed.

Probable XI: Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Kedar Jadhav, Sam Billings, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Mohit Sharma, Imran Tahir.

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)

Moeen Ali looks the best bet for the RCB to open the innings at this stage along with Parthiv Patel. The star-studded middle-order of Kohli, De Villiers and Hetmyer will follow them with the uncapped star Shivam Dube to bat six. Washington Sundar is also no mug with the bat with the bowlers to follow. Dube, Ali and Sundar, being the all-rounders, give an edge to the visitors in team balance as well.

Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Siraj will look after the pace bowling attack with Southee most likely to make it to the final XI. Yuzvendra Chahal will lead the spin attack and his performance will be crucial for the RCB on a slow Chepauk wicket.

Probable XI: Moeen Ali, Parthiv Patel (WK), Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers, Shimron Hetmyer, Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Tim Southee/Colin de Grandhomme, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj.

CSK skipper MS Dhoni won the toss and decided to bowl first.

PLAYING-XI-CSK-V-RCB-INDIAN-PREMIER-LEAGEU-2019

Focus will be on

Ambati Rayudu (CSK)

In all probabilities, the pressure will be on Rayudu. He was in superb touch last year for the franchise opening the innings but a lot has changed since then. He has played international cricket and his weaknesses have been exposed. The opposition will look to target the same and with a World Cup place at the back of his mind, Rayudu will look to score more runs in this season as well. A start is very important for him to gain confidence and it will be interesting to see how he fares.

Shimron Hetmyer (RCB)

Shimron Hetmyer slammed a sensational century in the India series last year a couple of months before the auction. A scintillating CPL beckoned before that and the swashbuckler was bagged by the RCB in a bidding war. The time has come for him to live up to the expectations. On his day, Hetmyer will win a game on his own. But he has to bat sensibly and with the game awareness to be successful.

Head to Head

Matches – 22 | CSK won – 14 | RCB won – 7 | NR – 1

Stat Attack

6 – CSK has won each of the previous six matches between the two teams. RCB last won against them during the 2014 season in Ranchi.

300 – Shane Watson will become the first Australian player to feature in 300 T20s in the IPL’s season opener.

Broadcast Details

TV – Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 Hindi HD

Live Streaming – Hotstar

Match Timings – 20:00 IST

Get the latest Cricket News and updates from the Indian Premier League, Match PredictionsFantasy Cricket Tips and lots more on CricTracker.com.

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