Chennai Super Kings will take inspiration from their last win over defending champions Rajasthan Royals as the two lock horns again for the second time in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Saturday.
Both teams top the points tally after winning their respective games on Thursday but Super Kings hold a slight edge over Rajasthan Royals in net run-rate.
While Royals thumped Bangalore Royal Challengers, Super Kings stifled the run chase of Kings XI Punjab.
Chennai strength is their batting with Matthew Hayden in a blazing form. The Australian is also the unrivalled owner of the Orange Cap (leading run scorer) with 378 runs. He has been fittingly complemented by Suresh Raina, whose strokeplay has impressed fans and critics alike.
Lakshimapathy Balaji, with 11 wickets, also have proved to be an asset to the side and the way he bowled the last over of the match against Kings XI Punjab, reflects a great deal of maturity. With spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan and upcoming Shadab Jakati, Chennai are not short of bowling options.
But Rajasthan Royals have been badly hit after their new bowler Amit Singh was reported by umpires Daryl Harper and K. Hariharan for suspected actions. Amit’s economical spell of 4-19 was instrumental in Royal’s win over Royal Challengers.
To make matters worse for them, Shane Watson who played a key role in Rajasthan Royals title win in the inaugural season and also won the player of the tournament, has pulled out from this edition after the resurfacing of a groin injury during the Australia Twenty match against Pakistan Thursday.
Watson was to fly to South Africa after Thursday’s match but the Australian medical staff’s decision to rest him keeping in mind the Twenty20 World Cup in June followed by the Ashes put an end to his flight to play in the second edition.
That apart, Rajasthan Royals efforts have received a fillip by return of form of dangerous South African skipper Graeme Smith with big hitting Yusuf Pathan always a potential match winner. Naman Ojha with two back to back 50’s too has shown an appetite for runs and so did Ravindra Jadeja.
In the bowling department, Rajasthan have the great Shane Warne himself along with Munaf Patel.
The area of concerns for the two teams have been fielding and Chennai skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni himself has been vocal about it.