Rajasthan Royals v Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2014, Dubai April 22, 2014

Royals square up to Super Kings batting arsenal


Match facts

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Start time 1830 local (1430 GMT, 2000 IST)

Play 04:12
Agarkar: CSK always start favourites

Big picture

After the shock-and-awe show by Glenn Maxwell and David Miler, Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Watson was quick to admit there was little any bowling side could have done in the face of such calculated and skillful belligerence.

Chennai Super Kings will be a bigger challenge for Royals on the basis of facing possibly the strongest top six in the current IPL. Their win against Delhi Daredevils would have buoyed Super Kings as it turned out to be a far more comprehensive effort than the game against Kings XI Punjab, where their bowling and fielding were a letdown. An even better sign for them was the team selection in conditions that played right into their three-seamer strategy. In Dubai, too, the ball can seam under lights early on, as the Daredevils attack showed a few days ago against Kolkata Knight Riders, so Super Kings may well opt to leave Samuel Badree out for one more game.

In spite of their loss, Royals had a lot of positives from their game; the biggest, undoubtedly, being Watson's return to form. The new opening pair of Mumbai batsmen - Ajinkya Rahane and Abhishek Nayar - haven't yet settled at the top, but with Stuart Binny and Steven Smith showing they can hold the middle order together, the old pair of Rahane and Watson striding out may lift the team against a tough opposition.

Players to watch

Sanju Samson's half-century on Sunday stood out for two reasons - an ability to strike cleanly and a lack of fear, evident in the way he smacked L Balaji over the leg side off just the sixth ball of his innings. As India's highest run-getter at the recent Under-19 World Cup held in the UAE, he also brought in his experience of local conditions into play.

Ishwar Pandey has been on the fringes of the India team for the last couple of seasons and found himself in the same position on the Pune Warriors bench last year, as he played just two games in a long campaign. He found his rhythm immediately on debut for Super Kings and will hope for a longer run in the tournament this year.

Stats & Trivia

  • Before his half-century against Kings XI Punjab, Shane Watson's last T20 fifty came during the IPL in May last year
  • Royals have won five out of 13 IPL matches between the two sides
  • With 19 fifties and one hundred, Suresh Raina shares the record for the most fifty-plus scores in the IPL (20) with Chris Gayle and Gautam Gambhir. He also has the record for most catches in the league (55)

Rachna Shetty is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Android on April 23, 2014, 14:02 GMT

    Watson vs Dhoni? Dhoni all the way.

  • ESPN on April 23, 2014, 13:42 GMT

    Let faulkner rest.. Give a chance to cooper..

  • Prakash on April 23, 2014, 13:35 GMT

    Why is Unmukt Chand not playing does any one know.

  • Android on April 23, 2014, 13:25 GMT

    Dhoni always give surprice at every IPL. last year he give the chance to Mohit and he took some important wickets too. Also this year Dhoni keeps Badree and Aparajit left from the game at earlier stage. But definitely he will give chance to both of them. Who know what idea or plan dhoni have its always mystery. Bravo injury undoubtedly big blow for #CSK then Dhoni should consider Aparajit is good replace for bravo though he is domestic player. He has capable to bowl and bat in abroad ground that pitches are same like Indian pitch then he could make him place permanently in the squad.

    In opponent camp RR has some good young talented batsman Rahane and Sanju both are Indians player so no doubt on them, They will face #CSK ian phase attack very easily. The worries are Brad Hodge and phase bowling of them because last match those are not well contributed to their team. The team who win toss will opt to bowl so easily they chase down on flat track.

  • Dummy4 on April 23, 2014, 13:11 GMT

    Just wondering why isnt Unmukt Chand playing? Abhishek Nayar is nothing less than a liability at the top of the order. It would be a nice opening partnership with the blistering Chand and the resolute Rahane.

  • ESPN on April 23, 2014, 13:02 GMT

    watson should use binny in the bowling department the last game played he got 1 over and only gave away 4 runs whiles the rest of the bowlers were giving away runs like water......why not pick cooper for this game against csk

  • ESPN on April 23, 2014, 12:47 GMT

    CSK will won the toss. They will be ball fast .

  • Ashwin on April 23, 2014, 12:46 GMT

    I'm with Royals,but CSK has the upper hand here.They have more powerful batting line up.And Dhoni's captaincy is not to be underestimated.

  • Sam on April 23, 2014, 12:14 GMT

    @ Cricinfo: Please find out why Shane Watson hasn't bowled in the first 2 IPL matches. Is he unfit to bowl ? Please dig in. He's a wicket taking & economical bowler & I can't understand why he's not bowling.

    My Teams:

    RR XI: (Please no Dhawan Kulkarni. A bowler who gives away 27 runs in an over lost the match for the team & doesn't deserve to be in the team, Watson should bowl & open the batting) 1 Watson (C) 2 Rahane 3 Samson (WK) 4 Binny 5 S Smith 6 Faulkner 7 A Nayar 8 Bhatia 9 Richardson 10 I Abdulla/Vikramjeet 11 Tambe.

    CSK XI: 1 McCullum 2 D Smith 3 Raina 4 Du Plessis 5 Dhoni (C+WK) 6 Jadeja 7 Manhas 8 Ashwin 9 Ishwar 10 Mohit 11 Badree.

  • Rahul on April 23, 2014, 12:07 GMT

    Royals XI (alongwith the batting order) for todays match :

    Watson,Rahane,Samson,A Nayar, S Smith, Binny, Faulkner, R Bhatia, Richardson, V Malik(if available)/ Kulkarni ,P Tambe

    First 3 batsmen if play sensibly are capable of destroying Chennai bowling. They have done it in the past as well. Good Luck RR. Halla Bol!!

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