Our Prediction is Chennai Super Kings to win the opening match of IPL!
It is that time of the year again - Indian Premier League ( IPL). Hosts Chennai Super Kings will be keen to start their campaign on a winning note when they face Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opening game of Indian Premier League (IPL) in Chennai on March 23, Saturday.
Chennai Super Kings played exceedingly well in the previous edition of the league and went onto clinch their third title in the history of the competition. Captain MS Dhoni will be hoping that the side can field their full-strength XI for this game. Reigning Champions will be look to start this year’s competition on a good note.
On the other hand, Royal Challengers Bangalore will be looking to turn things around this season. The side will need to field best combination for this opening fixture in bid to get a positive result out of this game.
Skipper MS Dhoni will be hoping that the side can start well in this year’s competition. Three-time Champions have retained most of their players for the coming season. The franchise certainly did not make big acquisitions in the Indian Premier League Auction event held in December last year.
In the batting department, the side will be relying on their experienced players like Shane Watson, Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu to do the bulk of the scoring. Ambati Rayudu showed splendid form with the bat for Chennai in the previous edition of the league. He finished as leading run-scorer for Chennai with 602 runs in 16 matches. Watson and Raina also scored heavily for the side in the last year’s competition.
Last year, MS Dhoni also showed consistency with the bat and scored 455 runs in 16 matches with three-half-centuries to his name. Dwayne Bravo and Ravendra Jadeja are quality all-rounders included in the setup that can produce match-winning performances with bat and ball.
In the bowling department, the side will be relying on the likes of Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, and Dwayne Bravo to deliver crucial breakthroughs. Karn Sharma, Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir are three spinners included in the squad for the coming season.
The franchise will need to select their full-strength side in order to make a positive start to the season. Captain Virat Kohli might not be available for the whole season as BCCI might advise him to rest in order to avoid burnout before 2019 Cricket World Cup.
In the batting department, the focus will be on the likes of Virat Kohli, who scored 530 runs in 14 matches last season. Kohli is certainly the lynchpin in the side’s batting lineup and will be keen to do well in this game. Besides Kohli, AB De Villiers will also be looking to start the season on a good note. Last year, De Villiers finished with 480 runs in 12 matches at an average of 53.33.
However, the real cause of concern for RCB will how other players fare in the batting department. Shimron Hetymer has been signed by the franchise in order to reduce the burden on the likes of Kohli and De Villiers in the batting department. Hetmyer was impressive with the bat on his tour to India last year.
All-rounder Marcus Stoinis also is another valuable addition to the squad this season. He has been consistently doing well for Australia in the shorter formats of the game. Colin de Grandhomme and Moeen Ali are others who can do a decent job with bat and ball. Parthiv Patel and Heinrich Klaasen are two keeping options for the franchise for the coming season.
In the bowling department, Mohammad Siraj, Tim Southee and Umesh Yadav will need to provide early inroads with the new-ball. Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pawan Negi and Yuzvendra Chahal are other prominent options in the squad for the coming season.
M.A. Chidambaram Stadium is certainly going to host all the home fixtures for Chennai Super Kings this year. Chennai Super Kings only played one game played at the venue last year due to political reasons. The franchise has a dominant record at the venue. Chennai Super Kings have won six games out of seven played at the venue against Royal Challengers Bangalore.