The Indian Premier League (IPL) caravan moves to Sharjah where two heavyweights Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are set to face off. RCB suffered a crushing 9 wicket defeat to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their last game. Their batting let them down against KKR as they were shot out for 92. However, the quality batting lineup they are, expect a much better performance from them against CSK.
RCB are currently placed third on the points table and will look to consolidate the position by getting back to winning ways. Their bowling looked ordinary in the last game but a true judgement can be made only after watching them play a couple of games.
On the other hand, CSK made a remarkable comeback to beat MI. Youngster Ruturaj Gaikwad led the charge and gave CSK’s bowlers something to bowl at.
Middle-order batter Ambati Raydu too has recovered from the blow on his arm and looks set to play the match against RCB. CSK’s top-order batters had a rare failure and they will look to get back among runs against RCB.
Short boundaries and a flatter surface, Sharjah should bring plenty of smiles on the faces of batters. The wicket will get slow as the match progress, as is the case with all pitches in UAE.
Predicted Playing XI
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Srikar Bharat (wk), Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers, Wanindu Hasaranga, Sachin Baby, Kyle Jamieson, Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal
Chennai Super Kings
Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Josh Hazlewood
The Enigma of the IPL Glenn Maxwell has finally lived up to those X-factor elements and has delivered the goods for RCB. The hard-hitting batter has already scored over 200 runs and will look to play with the same freedom as he played during the India leg of the IPL. Also, the pitch in Sharjah should suit Maxwell’s style of play.
The CSK all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja had a good outing against RCB last year and that should be enough to inspire him to put him another good performance. Jadeja’s four economical overs give Dhoni a chance to attack from one end. Also, he has turned into a finisher of sorts for CSK, which has given the team an added advantage.