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37th Match (N), Jaipur, April 27, 2023, Indian Premier League
(20 ov, T:203) 170/6

RR won by 32 runs

Player Of The Match
77 (43)
Cricinfo's MVP
90.94 ptsImpact List

Royals look to return to winning ways against table-toppers CSK

Royals' Impact Player strategy and use of Holder has come into sharp focus following back-to-back losses

Sidharth Monga
Sidharth Monga

Big picture: Royals are under threat of losing steam

Not for a long time have these two teams been thought of and spoken of as the two finalists of the first IPL. Fifteen years later, halfway into the 16th IPL, you think of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals as the top contenders because they have been that good.
Without making drastic changes in personnel, CSK have become the most explosive team with the bat even though they like to start a little conservatively. Their pace bowling is slightly thin but they are putting up large totals to give them the cushion.
A large total is what Royals put up for CSK in their first encounter this IPL only for CSK to come within striking distance. Even though they might be among the top teams on the table, Royals are under threat of losing steam having lost their last two matches.
In sharp focus will be Royals' toss and Impact Player strategy. Their XIs have not tended to depend on the toss. Last time they named just the five bowlers in their field-first XI, and didn't have a proper batter in the substitutes should they need one in the second innings.
Royals' use of Jason Holder the batter, too, remains a mystery: he has batted just two balls in seven matches, and has been sent behind R Ashwin regularly. With 10 needed off two balls in the last match, with even Ashwin dismissed, they chose to send Abdul Basith, an IPL debutant with a highest T20 score of 27, ahead of Holder.

Form guide

(Last five matches, most recent first)
Rajasthan Royals LLWWW (8 points from 7 matches)
Chennai Super Kings WWWLW (10 points from 7 matches)

Team news: Stokes and Chahar still unlikely

Before their last match, the CSK coach Stephen Fleming had said Ben Stokes had "another little setback" on his road to recovery. Deepak Chahar is also unlikely to return to action soon.

Toss and Impact Player strategy

Rajasthan Royals
The last match in Jaipur was played on a slow and low pitch where scoring was difficult. Assuming a similar pitch is in the offing, Royals might like to include Adam Zampa in their plans, especially considering how they have been using Holder just as a specialist bowler.
Possible XII: 1 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 2 Jos Butter, 3 Sanju Samson (capt. & wk), 4 Devdutt Padikkal, 5 Riyan Parag, 6 Shimron Hetmyer, 7 Dhruv Jurel 8 R Ashwin, 9 Trent Boult, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Sandeep Sharma, 12 Adam Zampa/ Jason Holder
Chennai Super Kings
CSK have had great success with a fixed combination for the last three matches, but if the pitch is slow there might be temptation to go in with Mitchell Santner in place Matheesha Pathirana. Ambati Rayudu will continue to be the batter to not field.
Possible XII: 1 Devon Conway, 2 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 3 Ajinkya Rahane, 4 Moeen Ali, 5 Shivam Dube 6 Ambati Rayudu 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), 9 Matheesha Pathirana/ Mitchell Santner, 10 Tushar Deshpande, 11 Maheesh Theekshana, 12 Akash Singh

Stats that matter

  • Of all the IPL venues, sixes are hit most infrequently in Jaipur: one every 29.7 balls.
  • Ruturaj Gaikwad strikes at under a run a ball against the two RR opening bowlers, Trent Boult and Sandeep Sharma.
  • Only Bhuvneshwar Kumar has got Jos Buttler more often in T20s than Moeen Ali: 44 balls, 60 runs, four wickets.

Pitch and conditions

Even if the pitch is not as slow as it was in the first match in Jaipur, Sawai Mansingh Stadium has historically not been a high-scoring venue. So don't expect too much fireworks.

The big question

Who should be RR's fifth bowler?
4.3K votes
Jason Holder
Adam Zampa
Kuldip Sen, which leaves room for one of the two as Impact Player

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Win Probability
RR 100%
100%50%100%RR InningsCSK Innings

Over 20 • CSK 170/6

Shivam Dube c Buttler b Yadav 52 (33b 2x4 4x6 52m) SR: 157.57
RR won by 32 runs
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