Match Preview – CSK vs RCB, Indian Premier League 2024, 1st Match

Match details

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB)
Chennai, 20:00 IST (1430 GMT)

Big picture: Can RCB break the Chennai jinx?

It was only last month that Faf du Plessis played a blinder to put Joburg Super Kings in the SA20 playoffs. And four months from now, he will be wearing yellow again for Texas Super Kings and teaming up with coach Stephen Fleming. Their history goes back to 2011, when Chennai Super Kings first signed du Plessis even before he had played international cricket for South Africa.

But right now, for the duration of this IPL, du Plessis has shed his yellow second skin for the red and blue of Royal Challengers Bengaluru. Once a crowd favourite at Chepauk, he will play his first game as RCB captain in Chennai on Friday. However, his counterpart will not be the man du Plessis would have expected to go up against.

Gaikwad has a proud record to defend because the odds are stacked against RCB in Chennai. The last time they beat CSK at Chepauk was back in the first IPL season, in 2008, when Fleming was still a player. RCB have lost seven on the trot since. In their most recent fixture there in 2019, they were spun out for 70 in 17.1 overs. That RCB made CSK work until the 18th over of the chase for victory was down to Yuzvendra Chahal and Moeen Ali.

Chahal is now with Rajasthan Royals while Moeen could line up against RCB on Friday along with three other spinners – Maheesh Theekshana, Ravindra Jadeja and part-timer Rachin Ravindra – on what could be another slow pitch. In contrast, RCB don’t have a world-class spinner in their ranks: their options are Mayank Dagar (left-arm fingerspin), Himanshu Sharma (mystery spin), Karn Sharma (legspin) and Swapnil Singh (left-arm fingerspin). It seems like RCB have put all their eggs in the batting basket for both their home and away games this season.

Team news: Dhoni and Kohli return

Dhoni, 42, is set to return to action after nearly a year, having undergone knee surgery following the previous IPL season. CSK’s designated spin-hitter Shivam Dube is also fit after missing the Ranji Trophy knockouts with injury. However, they will be without their death-overs specialist, the Sri Lankan slinger Matheesha Pathirana, who will miss the initial stages of IPL 2024 with a hamstring injury.

For RCB, Virat Kohli will also return to competitive cricket after a two-month break. He has played only two T20 games – against Afghanistan in January – since the previous IPL and this season will act as his runway to the 2024 T20 World Cup in June. Kohli displayed an uncharacteristically aggressive approach early in those two innings against Afghanistan; will he bat the same way for RCB?

Toss and Impact Player strategy

Chennai Super Kings

Considering Dube is working his way back from injury, CSK might play him as a batter alone and pick one of Mukesh Choudhary or Tushar Deshpande, last season’s highest wicket-taker, while bowling.

Possible bat-first XI: 1 Ruturaj Gaikwad (capt), 2 Rachin Ravindra, 3 Ajinkya Rahane, 4 Moeen Ali, 5 Daryl Mitchell, 6 Shivam Dube, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 MS Dhoni (wk), 9 Shardul Thakur, 10 Deepak Chahar, 11 Maheesh Theekshana

Possible bowl-first XI: 1 Ruturaj Gaikwad (capt), 2 Rachin Ravindra, 3 Ajinkya Rahane, 4 Moeen Ali, 5 Daryl Mitchell, 6 Ravindra Jadeja, 7 MS Dhoni (wk), 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 Deepak Chahar, 10 Maheesh Theekshana, 11 Mukesh Choudhary/Tushar Deshpande

Royal Challengers Bengaluru

One of Anuj Rawat, Mahipal Lomror or Suyash Prabhudessai might be picked to lengthen RCB’s batting if they bat first, to be replaced by a spinner – Himanshu or Karn – in the second innings. Or vice versa.

Possible bat-first XI: 1 Faf du Plessis (capt), 2 Virat Kohli, 3 Rajat Patidar, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Cameron Green, 6 Anuj Rawat/Mahipal Lomror/Suyash Prabhudessai, 7 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 8 Alzarri Joseph, 9 Mayank Dagar, 10 Akash Deep/Vyshak Vijaykumar, 11 Mohammed Siraj

Possible bowl-first XI: 1 Faf du Plessis (capt), 2 Virat Kohli, 3 Rajat Patidar, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Cameron Green, 6 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 7 Alzarri Joseph, 8 Mayank Dagar, 9 Akash Deep/Vyshak Vijaykumar, 10 Himanshu Sharma/Karn Sharma, 11 Mohammed Siraj

Stats that matter

  • Jadeja aces his match-up against Glenn Maxwell. The left-arm fingerspinner has dismissed Maxwell six times in 51 balls while giving away 70 runs in the IPL. No other bowler has dismissed Maxwell more times in the league.
  • Gaikwad has a favourable record against both Alzarri Joseph (47 off 25 balls, one dismissal) and Lockie Ferguson (56 off 29 balls, no dismissals) in the IPL.
  • Kohli (985) is 73 runs away from surpassing Shikhar Dhawan (1057) as the top run-getter against CSK in the IPL. Kohli’s record against spin in Chennai in the powerplay, though, isn’t impressive: 15 runs off 23 balls with two dismissals.
  • RCB’s spinners Dagar and Himanshu have a combined one wicket in four matches in the IPL.
  • Pitch and conditions

    The IPL 2024 opener will be played on the centre wicket at Chepauk, which traditionally is a spin-friendly one. It is different from the sharp turner that was used for the Ranji Trophy fixture between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka last month.

    The big question

    If du Plessis, Maxwell and Green start for RCB, who should they pick as their fourth overseas player?

    5.5K votes


    “I had the pleasure of working with Rachin of the New Zealand side last year in the UK. And watching him operate then, I had no doubt that he would fit in well. He’s very eager to learn. He’s very early in his international career. But with each hurdle, he’s clambered over pretty well.”
    CSK coach Stephen Fleming on Rachin Ravindra

    “He’s a proven international performer and a proven IPL performer. He has pace and bounce at a good release height. There’s a lot to like there and the same is true for our other overseas quicks. Faf knows Alzarri well [having worked with him at the CPL with Andy Flower]. So, that’s why he was a key target for us at the auction.”
    RCB director of cricket Mo Bobat on Alzarri Joseph

    Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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