CSK’s home advantage against RR, a psychological edge
By Arun Gopalakrishnan
Mumbai 21 April 2013
Match 30 of the Pepsi IPL 2013 features the Chennai Super Kings taking on Rajasthan Royals. Both teams have won four of their six matches so far this season. CSK’s win over KKR took them one place above RR in the standings. RR were second prior to their previous match against Royal Challengers Bangalore at Bengaluru. But the 7-wicket defeat in that match resulted in a slip to fourth place in the standings.
RR need to be cautious and mindful of history, for their current situation mirrors their performance last season. The team had won four of its first six matches last season too, but managed only a further three wins in the remaining ten matches in the season.
CSK meanwhile will realise that they have been defeated at home twice this season and cannot afford any more losses. Dhoni’s lads have made up for the setbacks at home by winning all their three away fixtures. But considering they are among the favourites to go the distance, CSK need to start performing consistently, start getting ruthless and not give opponents a chance to score points in Chennai.
Monday, April 22, 2013, 8 p.m
MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
“Mr. Cricket” Michael Hussey is one of the three most important batsmen in the CSK ranks. In his role as opener, Hussey has more often than not helped his team off to sound starts and that has meant the likes of Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni have a platform to launch from.
The Rajasthan Royals have more often than not done well when Ajinkya Rahane or Rahul Dravid have dropped anchor. Despite not being known for playing the unorthodox strokes that is so common in this format of the game, Rahane and Dravid have scored runs at more than a run-a-ball and ensured the scoreboard is always ticking. The elevation of Stuart Binny in the batting order seems to be working well for the Royals; the Karnataka all-rounder has played cameos in a couple of matches this season and the team will hope he will add consistency to his game.
The Chennai Super Kings have dominated their contests against the Rajasthan Royals.
RR won their first three matches against CSK, including the final of the inaugural IPL season but since then CSK have dominated winning 7 of the 8 matches. CSK are undefeated in their last five matches against RR starting with their home fixture in the 2010 season.
13 runs separate KKR’s Gautam Gambhir and CSK’s Suresh Raina in the list of the top run-getters in the IPL; Raina has scored 2339 runs while Gambhir has 2326 runs.
Rajasthan Royals’ Brad Hodge is the only player to score more than 500 boundary fours in Twenty20 cricket; he has hit 562 fours in this format.
The Chennai Super Kings remain at home to play the second of their three back-to-back home games. Their next fixture is against Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 25. The Rajasthan Royals will enjoy a brief break before they host Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 27.