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Will RCB bounce back to stun the powerful CSK?

Thursday, September 23, 2021 • Tamil Sport News Comments

Title-favourites Chennai Super Kings (CSK) takes on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at Sharjah tomorrow (Sep.24) in what is touted as the clash of ‘captains’.

Kohli's form worries RCB

Virat Kohli, who is the Indian captain across all formats as on date, has been RCB’s captain since 2013. Despite Kohli’s success at the international level as a batter and as a captain, he hasn’t won the coveted IPL even once for RCB for 8 years. Kohli surprised his fans by saying he’d step down as RCB skipper after IPL-2021; this announcement comes hardly a week after Kohli said he might hand over the reins of India’s T20 captaincy to Rohit Sharma in the near future.

Kohli’s decision in the middle of the tournament didn’t augur well for RCB which lost its first match of the second leg of IPL-2021 badly after getting bundled out for a paltry 92 against a rampaging KKR. Kohli, whose 71st international century has kept his fans waiting now for more than two years, needs to pull up his socks and motivate his team-mates to do well during the remainder of the tournament. That Kohli and de Villiers both failed on Tuesday didn’t do any good to the team’s cause as it got mauled.

Being the world’s ‘No.1’ batsman across all formats, Kohli can bounce back into form on any given day and CSK would do well to beware of this fact and not take the ‘king’ lightly. Harshal Patel, Siraj, Chahal, Jamieson and Chameera form a formidable bowling line-up for RCB which can still try its best to realize its dream of winning the IPL at least once.

As on date, CSK and RCB are placed at the 2nd and 3rd spots (respectively) in the points tally, below table-topper DC. RCB did very well in the suspended first stage of IPL and appeared to be on course to reach the final when COVID scare resulted in the tourney getting postponed. All the teams looked rusty in their initial outing after a 4-month long gap. CSK, though, made a winning start on Sunday by putting it across a Rohit Sharma-less Mumbai Indians with an all-round display.

CSK is fit and r(o)aring to go

CSK’s Gaikwad displayed exemplary maturity after the team was tottering at 24/4 at the end of the first power-play. Gaikwad kept his attacking instincts in check till the 15th over after which he unleashed some unbelievable strokes, with his sixes off Bumrah and Boult standing out. Both the teams are unlikely to make changes in the playing XI from their last matches.

CSK might hold the edge over RCB in the death overs while bowling as it has the experience of Bravo as well as the youthful exuberance of Chahar and Thakur.

Players to watch out for:

CSK: Gaikwad, Raina, Jadeja, Dhoni, Bravo

RCB: Kohli, Padikkal, Chahal, Siraj & de Villiers

Expected XI:

CSK: Gaikwad, du Plessis, Ambati Raydu, Raina, Moeen Ali, Dhoni, Jadeja, Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar and Josh Hazlewood

RCB: Padikkal, Kohli, Bharat, Maxwell, de Villiers, Hasrang, Sachin Baby, Jamieson, Siraj, Harshal Patel and Chahal

Picture Courtesy: IPLT20.COM

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