There are phases in the Vivo Indian Premier League (IPL) when one match gets over, the other is just a day away. Rajasthan Royals are in the middle of one such phase, as they prepare for their second consecutive home game. The Royals travel further south from Hyderabad, as they make their way to the grand city of Chennai – home to Chennai Super Kings. It is no secret that Chennai boasts one of the loudest fans in cricket, and when it comes to CSK, they get behind their team like its their very own family. Rajasthan Royals will be looking for their first win of the season against an in-form CSK. Powerplay of Numbers The M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, more familiarly known as ‘Chepauk’ hosted the opening game of the Vivo IPL 2019. Royal Challengers Bangalore, who faced CSK put up an unexpected performance, being bowled out for just 70 runs. CSK took their time to chase it down, which showed that the pitch was pretty difficult to bat on. Should we encounter a similar surface, we have the kind of batsmen who can adapt to any surface and tackle tough situations. In the last season, both teams won their respective home games. The Chepauk isn’t the largest of grounds in India, and decent hits can cross the ropes easily at the venue. We have won just one out of six games here, and will look to tilt the numbers this time around. Gowtham and Gopal could have key roles to play, as the surface tends to be spinner-friendly. On average, spinners go at an economy rate of under seven, while pacers are hit for over eight an over. Among our batsmen, Sanju Samson’s confidence eeds just 1 run to complete 2000 Vivo IPL runs. His confidence will be sky high after the scintillating century in Hyderabad. Dynamic Duels Sanju Samson vs Imran Tahir Samson didn’t have any trouble facing Rashid Khan, one of the leading leg spinners in the world, the other night. He will be up against another fine leggie, Imran Tahir who also bowls some quick ones that zip and turn. In the past, Samson has given due respect to the South African, scoring just 21 runs off 20 balls. The good news is that he has never given away his wicket to Tahir. Keep an eye on Samson’s Strike Rate, which could go up with the form he is in at the moment. Steven Smith vs Dwayne Bravo In our last game, Steven Smith didn’t need to bat. Come this game, if he gets his opportunity, one bowler he will be keen to face is the wily Dwayne Bravo. The West Indian may be one of the finest death bowlers, but Smith has had little problem finding runs off him. In six meetings, Smith has carted 60 runs off 35 balls from the Trinidadian, at 171.4. In the process, Smith has also lost his wicket twice to Bravo. This makes for an interesting battle to Vivo IPL’s two finest foreign imports. JaydevUnadkat vs Kedar Jadhav Both Unadkat and Jadhav are finishers in their own right; one with the ball, the other with the bat. Kedar Jadhav’s encounters with JD have been brief, in their 3 meetings so far; the reason being – JD has dismissed Jadhav twice. The batsman has managed to score just 4 runs off 6 deliveries. With JD bowling most overs in the death, this face-off could take centre-stage later in the innings. Playing in Chennai is always a challenge for the away team. We lost our first two games, and will be raring to win this one. We were in a good position in Jaipur and Hyderabad, but couldn’t close the game. Our boys are quick learners and will look to apply everything to use during our contest against Chennai Super Kings. Sunday evening promises to bring a good ending for all Royals fans. Halla Bol!
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