After an impressive outing in their IPL campaign opener against reigning champions Mumbai Indians (MI), the Mahendra Singh Dhoniled Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will be up against the 2008 champions Rajasthan Royals in their second game of the season at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium here on Tuesday.For the Steve Smith-captained Royals, this will be the first match of the season.
Looking at CSK’s close win over Mumbai, the Royals’ team management would seek something extra from their players against the three-time champions that have dominated the league in almost every season. The ‘Yellow Brigade’ started the season in the absence of two of their star players — Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh – who have opted out of the tournament for personal reasons. However, class acts by Ambati Rayudu (71) and Faf du Plessis (58 not out) ensured the CSK a comfortable win against arch-rivals Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi.
Despite getting jolted in the initial overs, Rayudu and du Plessis steadied the ship for Chennai , m a k i n g t h e Mumbai bowlers work hard in the hot and humid conditions. Murli Vijay and Shane Watson opened for against Mumbai but both failed to fire. The duo would try to leave the past behind when they face the Royals on Tuesday. Moreover, Sam Curran, who was promoted by Dhoni ahead of himself, didn’t disappoint his team after playing a cameo of 18 runs off six balls.
While the CSK ’ batting look quite settled, their bowlers too didn’t disappoint. After initial onslaught by MI opener Quinton de Kock, SaurabhTiwary and skipper Rohit Sharma, they made a comeback in the game and struck their opponents’ regular intervals.
The Chennai bowlers ensured their arch-rivals didn’t put up a big total and that played a crucial role in Chennai’s five-wicket win. Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla may not be considered as a vital cog in the CSK side, However, the 31-year-old bowler bought all his past experience into play and utilised the conditions quite effectively as he ended with appreciable figures in his allotted quota of overs..