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Preview: M39 - RCB vs CSK

The Royal Challengers Bangalore, who kept their remote playoff chances alive with a 10-run win in their previous match, will be pitted against the Chennai Super Kings in Match 39 of VIVO IPL 2019.

What

The Royal Challengers Bangalore, who kept their remote playoff chances alive with a 10-run win in their previous match, will be pitted against the Chennai Super Kings in Match 39 of VIVO IPL 2019.

Both these teams met in the opening game of the season; CSK won that low-scoring opener and have dominated most opponents since, while RCB have struggled to bounce back and have been bottom dwellers all along. Both teams have played nine matches so far; CSK have seven wins, while RCB have only two wins.

The nail-biting win over the Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday night will hopefully be the spark that ignites RCB’s campaign. Riding on captain Virat Kohli’s hundred and Moeen Ali’s blitz, they posted 213 and held their nerve – despite Andre Russell’s stunning rear-guard assault – to deny KKR. RCB play four of their remaining five matches at home; if they can win them all, they will not only stay in the race themselves, but also hurt the chances of some of the other playoff aspirants.

The Super Kings, who have been parked at the top of the table for a little while, come into this match at the back of a loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad. MS Dhoni wasn’t a part of the CSK line-up for that match in Hyderabad, and their middle order was exposed; despite getting off to a brisk start, CSK suffered a mid-innings collapse and handed the advantage to their opponents. It is expected that CSK will field a full-strength side for this fixture; MS Dhoni should be back at the helm for the three-time champions.

AB de Villiers missed RCB’s last match; the South African was rested so he could recover from the blow he took on the head in an earlier game. If he has recovered sufficiently, he should be back in the RCB XI – possibly at the expense of Heinrich Klaasen.

When

21 April 2019, 8pm IST

Where

M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru

Previous Match XIs:

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Parthiv Patel, Virat Kohli, Akshdeep Nath, Moeen Ali, Marcus Stoinis, Heinrich Klaasen, Pawan Negi, Yuzvendra Chahal, Dale Steyn, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj.

Chennai Super Kings: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Sam Billings, Ravindra Jadeja, Karn Sharma, Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur

Protagonists

Who else but Virat Kohli, who scored a superlative hundred in the previous match; Virat’s hundred was a masterclass on how to construct an innings – even in a short format like T20 cricket. There has been a distinct change in the RCB captain’s body language in the last couple of matches; he appears to be more relaxed and is playing more freely than he did in the early weeks of the competition. Moeen Ali – who has been destructive against the spinners, and AB de Villiers, if he returns to the RCB XI, are among the others who will play important roles.

The surface at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium should be to the liking of CSK’s top three; Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina like the ball coming onto the bat, and therefore one should expect them to be among the runs. And then, there’s MS Dhoni, who has rolled the calendar back a few years. The CSK skipper’s season so far: 6 innings, 3 not outs, 2 half-centuries and 2 man of the match awards.

Head to Head in Indian Premier League

Overall: Matches – 23, Royal Challengers Bangalore – 7, Chennai Super Kings – 15, No Result – 1.

Last 7 Matches: Royal Challengers Bangalore – 0, Chennai Super Kings – 7.

When these two teams met in Bengaluru in VIVO IPL 2018, a vintage MS Dhoni knock powered Chennai Super Kings’ chase of 206. When Dhoni walked out to bat, CSK needed 132 in the remaining 11 overs. Dhoni smashed seven sixes and a boundary, and scored 70 from 34 balls. Dhoni finished the job in signature style, depositing the ball into the stands at long-on to take his team over the line. CSK won by five wickets with two balls to spare.

Trivia

MS Dhoni has scored more runs against RCB than against any other IPL opponent; he has scored 709 runs against RCB at a strike-rate of 140.40.

No one has scored more runs against the Chennai Super Kings than Virat Kohli; the RCB captain has scored 738 runs in 22 innings.

MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli need 45 runs and 76 runs respectively to complete 4000 runs as captain in IPL.

Moeen Ali against spinners in VIVO IPL 2019: Runs – 111, Balls – 63, Sixes – 12, Strike Rate – 176.19.

Dale Steyn has gone wicketless in 10 of the 15 IPL matches he has played in Bangalore.

Other than the 2009 season when the IPL was played in South Africa, this is the first time ever that RCB do not have a home win after playing 9 matches in a season.

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