Bengaluru, April 24: It's not entirely without justification the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) were labelled Dad's Army at the end of this year's Indian Premier League (IPL) auction. After all, the core of their squad was formed by 30-plus players.
CSK, who will face Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the M Chinnaswamy stadium here on Wednesday (April 25), skipper MS Dhoni is 36 and his deputy Suresh Raina is 31. Dwayne Bravo is 34, Shane Watson is 36 and his opening partner Ambati Rayudu is 32. Principal spinner Imran Tahir is 39.
Hobbling on crutches then?
But in reality, each one of those CSK core members has taken a Tundra and crashed into the rival flanks on various occasions. Result: A second place in the IPL points table as the tournament approaches its halfway mark.
Royal Challengers Bangalore so far have taken a different route. They have two best modern day batsmen in their ranks - Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. They have a leg-spinner who has been on top of his game for a while - Yuzvendra Chahal. And they have two bowlers who have taken eight wickets apiece in this IPL - Umesh Yadav and Chris Woakes. They have a spinner good at bowling in the Power Play segment - Washington Sundar.
Yet they are struggling at sixth on the ladder with four points from five games - three defeats and two wins.
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The RCB's Achilles Heel has been their death over bowling and that chink has allowed two oppositions to rack up 200+ totals in as many games. If they do not find a remedy for that CSK can punish their old foes quite mercilessly.
RCB: Corey Anderson has played two matches and is yet to make any impact and the team think tank could swap him with New Zealand's Colin de Grandhomme - a big hitter and a useful medium pacer.
CSK: Imran Tahir missed the last match owing to illness and he should be back in the XI in place of Faf du Plessis.
The M Chinnaswamy stadium pitch has always been a batsman's friend and allied with a small boundary it has given some torrid moments to bowlers. So, bowlers from both sides will have to dish out a disciplined effort against a set of highly-destructive batsmen.
A largely sunny day with temperature soaring as high as 34 degree but the weathermen have also warned of showers in patches towards the evening. So, we may just have to do with some stoppages on the morrow.
RCB: Quinton de Kock (wk), Manan Vohra, Virat Kohli (Capt), AB de Villiers, Mandeep Singh, Colin de Grandhomme/Corey Anderson, Washington Sundar, Chris Woakes, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal.
CSK: Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (Capt & wk), Sam Billings, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Imran Tahir.
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