The Chennai Super Kings will look to extend their lead at the top of the Indian Premier League table on Thursday when they make the trip to Jaipur to take on the Rajasthan Royals, who really need a win from the encounter.
The Royals head into the match with just one win from five matches and if they don’t launch a winning run soon their competition will be over before it has started. There are no such problems for the Super Kings. They are in a wonderful position.
There is no doubt it has been a very disappointing campaign for the Rajasthan Royals, but they should have won the reverse meeting between these two sides, and there was another match they were narrowly beaten in so it could have been much better of them. Shouldda, wouldda, couldda doesn’t really help them much though. The fact is they didn’t win and now they need to start doing so and mighty quickly.
If they are going to get on a winning run you get the feeling some big decisions are going to have to be made. They made one when dropping their most expensive bowler and now one or two batsmen might need to sit out for the good of the balance of the team if nothing else. Rajasthan really need their good home record to help them out here.
Chennai Super Kings
This could be a physical test for the Chennai Super Kings as much as it is a mental one given that they only played against the Kolkata Knight Riders 48hrs prior to this. That won’t have left them much time to recover from the humidity of Chepauk to go out and compete at their best here. A number of their side are getting no younger either so it will be interesting to see what Chennai have in their tanks.
What will serve them well though is they are not blessed with out and out pace and no one batsman has really overworked himself but it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise in the world if they labour here. They can afford to drop a game too which might not help them subconsciously, but this is a team who have risen to most challenges in their existence. I wouldn’t be surprised if they rise to this one too.
What can Rajasthan do to muster a win? Ben Stokes hasn’t set the world alight in this tournament but he is a match winner. Steve Smith doesn’t look fluent but dropping him will lead to a lot of media attention. Ashton Turner is waiting in the wings for a go though.
Dwayne Bravo is still missing for the Chennai Super Kings, so unless someone is seriously fatigued after the other night you would think that they would be unchanged for this match, unless Mitchell Santner is used to all the Royals’ right handers.
There is something in the back of my head that is telling me I should be on the Rajasthan Royals here but there is not enough batting in good enough form to reel me in, especially with Samju Samson expected to miss the game once again. This Chennai attack isn’t the easiest to get away either which doesn’t bode well for them.
The last match on this ground was low scoring although in truth that was down to the Rajasthan batting, but unless something changes dramatically there is nothing to suggest that Rajasthan won’t struggle with the bat here too. Rajasthan have a long tail and if the wicket remains slow here that won’t suit them. There is enough in this one to suggest that a match runs line of 3285 is a few too many, especially if the home side can keep Chennai’s top three quiet.
WON – Back Under 328.5 runs for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365