A mighty CSK, who already had a clinical finish in the opening match, will take on RR who suffered a huge blow as Jos Buttler will not be available for their opening match. While CSK will want Faf du Plessis to continue his form from the match, RR will hope Robin Uthappa shines in his first game.
Chennai Super Kings - W L W L L
The ‘dad army’ once again proved in the opening match of the tournament that they can never be underestimated despite age not being on their side. There were some apprehensions regarding the number three position as Suresh Raina had pulled out of the tournament citing personal reasons, but Faf du Plessis dismissed all the doubts and carried the team over the line, coming in to at number 3 and staying not out on 58. The dhoni-led team seems to be unaffected by all the problems they have and continue to prove all its haters wrong in critical manner time and again, which pegs them as the favourites in this match against a relatively weak RR side. On top of that, Ruturaj Gaikwad is also back for them after he recovered from the COVID infection, making the squad much more balanced.
Rajasthan Royals - L NR W W L
If things were not already bad enough for RR with the unavailability of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler, spending his time under quarantine. On the other hand, Steve Smith's availability for the first match stands unclear after he missed out of the ODI series against England. RR already seems a little weak on paper against the formidable CSK squad. They didn’t have a great run last year as well as they finished on the seventh spot after 14 league matches. They do have Robin Uthappa and Sanju Samson in their batting lineup and in-form Tom Curran to improve their death overs bowling, but seeing the unfortunate series of events for them, they will start as underdogs in the match.
Chennai Super Kings - Ambati Rayudu
Rayudu kicked of the 2020 edition of IPL with a bang as he scored a brilliant 71 off 48 balls to take his team home after the openers got out cheaply. He stitched a clinical partnership with Faf du Plessis, who is another contender to be the key batsman, which amounted to 115 runs, but got out to Rahul Chahar and wasn’t there to score the winning runs. The way he is connecting balls at the moment, it won’t be a surprise if he ends with the Orange Cap this season, making him a key batsman for CSK against RR.
Rajasthan Royals - Robin Uthappa
With Smith and Buttler yet to join the team, a lot will depend on the likes of Robin Uthappa and Yashasvi Jaiswal to perform for their team. As Yashasvi will be playing at this platform for the first time, veteran new addition Uthappa will have a huge responsibility on his shoulders to take his team over the ropes. His past performance with KKR is a testament of the fact he can be brutal with the bat along with being consistent, making him a key batsman for key-players deprived Rajasthan based franchise.
Chennai Super Kings - Lungi Ngidi
Despite getting hit for 18 runs in his first over against MI, he made a superb comeback in his next 3 overs picking up 3 wickets for just 20 runs. He looked in complete control of his bowling after getting thrashed initially, which also helped in restricting MI to a chaseable total, eventually winning the match for CSK. Sam Curran will be another bowler to look out for, but a lot will depend on Ngidi’s skill to execute his plans.
Rajasthan Royals - Shreyas Gopal
Although Rajasthan has the likes of Australian Andrew Tye, who will be in the starting XI as RR struggle to put out their best XI on the field due to the unavailability of their foreign players, Shreyas Gopal will significantly influence the match as he will be key on the slow wicket of Sharjah Cricket Stadium. He has had a good run in the IPL for Rajasthan based franchise, picking up 38 wickets in 31 matches for them with the help of difficult-to-pick googly.
Chennai Super Kings Squad: Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Faf du Plessis, MS Dhoni(w/c), Kedar Jadhav, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Piyush Chawla, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Imran Tahir, Murali Vijay, Karn Sharma, Josh Hazlewood, Lungi Ngidi, Monu Kumar, Mitchell Santner, Sam Curran, Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore, N Jagadeesan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, KM Asif
RR squad: Steve Smith(C), Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Ashton Turner, Liam Livingstone, Prashant Chopra, Shashank Singh, Shubham Ranjane, Mahipal Lomror, Riyan Parag, Jofra Archer, Manan Vohra, Aryaman Birla, Rahul Tripathi, Stuart Binny, Shreyas Gopal, Krishnappa Gowtham, Ish Sodhi, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni, Varun Aaron, Oshane Thomas, S. Midhun.
Chennai Super Kings: Murali Vijay, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (wk) (c), Kedar Jadhav, Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja, Piyush Chawla, Deepak Chahar, Lungi Ngidi.
Rajasthan Royals: Sanju Samson (wk), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Manan Vohra, Robin Uthappa, David Miller, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Andrew Tye, Ankit Rajpoot, Tom Curran
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah
When to Watch: Sep 22, 7.30 PM IST
Where to Watch: Star Sports Network and Hotstar (in India)