Chennai Super Kings would look to get back to winning ways when they take on Rajasthan Royals at their new home ground in Pune on Friday. Rajasthan Royals too would look to their campaign back on track after losing the clash against KKR. Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals have four points each with Rajasthan Royals having played one game more (four).
CSK are rich in experience with a successful skipper in MS Dhoni. They have experienced all-rounders and spin bowlers. Rajasthan Royals have capable T20 batsmen in Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler who can take the game away with their big hitting. CSK have experience to boast of, while Rajasthan Royals have blown hot and cold so far. It's going to be a tough contest between the two teams.
Best economical pick - Ambati Rayudu has been the silent hero for CSK so far with some key contributions with the bat while opening the innings. He will come to bat at number 3 surely in this match to accommodate Raina's place and all eyes will be on him as he will need to play an impact knock. He is an experienced cricketer and all his career has played in the middle order. So it won't be tough for him to alter his game and the way he plays might eventually define the state of the game for CSK.
Top captains & vice captains - Shane Watson has been the best all-rounder so far in this season. He has impressed both with the ball and the bat. The decision to promote him as an opener has turned out to be a positive for the team. Watson has scored 69 runs in the 3 matches at a strike rate of 164.28. His strike rate is what fetches additional fantasy points. He has been effective with the ball as well, taking 5 wickets in 3 matches at an economy of 8.30.
Dwayne Bravo is looking dangerous with the bat in this season. He has batted in all the matches for the Chennai Super Kings so far and has looked in good touch, hitting the ball hard and clean in both the initial matches.
Smart pick - Ben Stokes has been bought for a staggering INR 12.5 crores, however, he hasn't been able to deliver the goods as per expectations. He has found the boundaries on a few occasions, but hasn't dished out any significant performance. Also, he has been lackluster as a bowler. The English all-rounder has to strike form at the earliest.
Cautious Pick - Rajasthan Royals had shelled out big bucks for D'Arcy Short at the IPL auctions this year but the powerful left-hander from Australia has so far failed to impress. Looking at his struggles, Royals's team management would be tempted to try Henrich Klaasen in the next game.
My XI - Shane Watson (Captain), Dwayne Bravo (Vice-Captain), Ambati Rayudu, Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson, Sam Billings, Shreyas Gopal, Harbhajan Singh, Ben Laughlin, MS Dhoni, Rahul Tripathi