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Indian Premier League 2020

IPL 2020, CSK vs RR: Rajasthan face sharp Chennai in daunting campaign opener

CSK vs DC Fantasy
by Wisden Staff 3-minute read

In Match 4 of IPL 2020, Rajasthan Royals (RR) will begin their campaign against Chennai Super Kings (CSK), who won their opener against Mumbai Indians. Here’s all you need to know.

CSK will look to make two wins in as many games when they take on RR in Sharjah on Tuesday. The MS Dhoni-led side look altogether comfortable in their opener against the defending champions MI, despite only getting their first look at the pitch in Abu Dhabi, the venue for the match, on the day of the encounter.

Dhoni had plenty to be happy about, from Piyush Chawla’s effectiveness in arresting MI’s early charge, the daring shown by young Sam Curran in filling Dwayne Bravo’s shoes, how far superior in the field they looked to MI, despite the lockdown, and much else. It would have all made for a daunting viewing for RR, who have a tough ask in their tournament opener.

RR finished second from bottom in their last campaign, managing just 11 points from 14 matches, finishing about bottom-placed RCB only on NRR. They have bolstered their batting with the signing of the experienced Robin Uthappa, and, as ever, have an encouraging mix of youngsters in the side in Yashasvi Jasiwal, Kartik Tyagi and Riyan Parag.

However, it’s hard to escape the feeling a lot of their fortunes this season will depend on their overseas stars – Steve Smith, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and David Miller. Unfortunately, Stokes and Buttler are set to miss the first game for the side, but in a big boost, Steve Smith will be available for selection.

RR will hope their overseas stars can dovetails with Indian youngsters and make a heady concoction – they will need to in order to beat a CSK side that looked very resilient.

CSK vs RR: Star players

Robin Uthappa (RR): Having released Ajinkya Rahane after IPL 2019, RR bought in an Indian batsman of proven pedigree in Robin Uthappa. The 34-year-old is in the top ten among all-time run charts in the IPL, and if he can replicate the sort of form that made him a go-to for Kolkata Knight Riders for the best part of last decade, RR will have made a fine signing.


Piyush Chawla was crucial for CSK in their opening win against MI

Piyush Chawla (CSK): The leg-spinner isn’t the first name many will think of, but he is the man Dhoni turned to against MI when Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock were tonking the CSK bowlers all over the park. Chawla slowed his pace down and craftily got the breakthrough, before squeezing the runs in the middle overs. His spell changed the course of the game.

CSK vs RR: Pitch report and conditions

It’s the first match at the famed Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The pitch is expected to be suitable for batting with a score between 160-170 considered par. The spinners will, as always in these parts, hold the key in the middle overs. It’s expected to be hot, but the temperature will drop gradually from 38 to 33°C as the match progresses.

CSK vs RR: Suggested fantasy team

Shane Watson (c), Sanju Samson, Steve Smith (vc), Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, Riyan Parag, Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja, Piyush Chawla, Jofra Archer, Deepak Chahar

CSK vs RR: Predicted XI

RR: Robin Uthappa, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Steve Smith (c), Sanju Samson, David Miller, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat, Mayank Markande, Tom Curran

CSK: Shane Watson, Murali Vijay, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c/wk), Kedar Jadhav, Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Piyush Chawla, Lungi Ngidi

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