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Chennai look to extend their winning streak to three games against Rajasthan

By Real11 - Apr 12 2023 532 Views
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Chennai, Rajasthan aim to dominate spin battle at Chepauk

You don’t challenge Chennai (CHE) in their own backyard unless you’re Rajasthan(RAJ). The inaugural champions have India’s best off spinner and leg spinner in their ranks and taking on the spin pair on a turning track can prove to be quite a problem for any side. They also have the likes of Murugan Ashwin and Adam Zampa, who might get a call on Wednesday if required. 

For the Rajasthan batters, the change in approach is going to be quite significant considering the fact that their last games were played on batting friendly conditions. But even on rankturners, RAJ batters will have an upper hand over their counterparts going by history. Jos Buttler has a phenomenal record against finger spinners in the Ind T20 League over the last few years. He averages over a hundred with a staggering strike rate of 156. Sanju Samson could also come all guns blazing as he relishes the challenge against left arm spinners. (SR 161.93). 

It will be interesting to see what plan Chennai comes up with to tackle all of that as they eye their third win on the bounce after losing their opening fixture. Chennai head into this match on the back of a big win over Mumbai, a contest which was largely dominated by their spinners. Mahesh Theekshana is likely to make an appearance in this game and he alongside Ravindra Jadeja and Mitchell Santner can cause a few headaches for the opposition batters. In the batting department, Ajinka’s Rahane blistering debut for the franchise gives them numerous reasons to feel confident especially with Ben Stokes set to miss this fixture as well. However, Rahane has had issues against the spin in the past and the RAJ spinners will be aware of that. 

However amidst all the hype around an enticing spin battle between these two sides, we could witness an anti-climax if the surface turns out to be quite flat at the Chepauk like it was last week against Lucknow. More than 420 runs were scored that day and MS Dhoni did admit he was taken by surprise with how the surface played across the two innings.  

What to expect: Not much can be said about the MA Chidambaram Stadium. Its unpredictable nature even startled the Chennai skipper. While the surface that was used in the ODI against Australia last month favoured spin bowlers, the one against Lucknow was a batting paradise. 

Teams

Chennai

News: Maheesh Theekshana and Matheesha Pathirana are available for selection and have joined the squad ahead of the game. The former is likely to be part of the starting XI straightaway. Ben Stokes and Deepak Chahar remain to be on the sidelines whereas Moeen Ali will be back within the playing XI. 

Tactics and Key Match Ups: Ruturaj has started the tournament on a bright note. However, his record against Trent Boult is not that good. The kiwi pacer has dismissed the opening batter thrice in a space of 21 balls. CHE will be wary of Trent Bout’s prowess with the new ball and would look to negate the threat by seeing off his overs in the initial phase of the game. 

Probable Starting XI: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Ajinkya Rahane, Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni (C & WK), Mitchell Santner, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Maheesh Theekshana, Tushar Deshpande

Rajasthan

Tactics and Key Matchups: CHE has the worst economy rate (11.44) in the powerplay this season. RAJ has an ideal batter in the form of Yashasvi Jaiswal who can make the most of the first six overs. The young southpaw, quite remarkably, is striking close to 200 in the powerplay this season and that phase could well turn out to be the difference on a track where spinners are expected to dominate during the middle overs. 

Probable Starting XI: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson (C & WK), Dhruv Jurel/Devdutt Padikkal, Shimron Hetmyer, Riyan Parag, Jason Holder, R Ashwin, M Ashwin, Trent Boult, Yuzvendra Chahal. 

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