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Match Preview – Super Kings vs RCB, Indian Premier League 2022, 22nd Match

One has to go way back to 2010 to find the last time Chennai Super Kings lost four IPL matches on the trot. And they’ve never lost four at the start of the season. In this ten-team tournament, they are already in a situation where another defeat could all but end their season. Their opponents, Royal Challengers Bangalore, are being led by one of their own in Faf du Plessis and are in the top half of the table with three wins in four outings.
Super Kings are indeed missing the du Plessis touch at the top with the bat. A struggling Ruturaj Gaikwad has taken sheen off the quick, fiery starts Robin Uthappa has been getting off to, which has hampered the side. That head coach Stephen Fleming lamented the batting, bowling and fielding after the loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad indicates that the self-belief of the four-time champions is on shaky grounds.

But Gaikwad takes a liking to Mohammed Siraj’s pace, having a strike rate of 147 against the fast bowler without being dismissed. He also enjoyed playing Wanindu Hasaranga with a strike rate of 162 in three innings.

Super Kings have a run rate of just over seven in the middle overs – between the seventh and the 16th overs – just a shade better than that of the low-ranked Mumbai Indians. Royal Challengers, on the other hand, have been accelerating in the same phase, as evident from their run rate of 9.13, which is the second-best.

But throw in a Siraj and a Siddarth Kaul, who could make his way in for a bereaved Harshal Patel, against MS Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu, the picture could be a touch different. Rayudu’s strike rates against Siraj and Kaul are 158 and 174, with Dhoni’s corresponding numbers reading 182 and 172.

Even though both teams haven’t picked up wickets in clusters in the powerplay – Super Kings have one while Royal Challengers have four to show – the latter have managed to keep the run-scoring under eight while the former have conceded runs at 8.62 an over. Eight sixes have been hit against the Super Kings bowlers in the first six overs, which is the joint second-most in the season so far.

With Anuj Rawat also showing his six-hitting prowess in the game against Mumbai Indians, Super Kings have another top-order left-hander to contend with after Abhishek Sharma pummeled them into submission. With Dinesh Karthik striking at over 200 – the most by anybody to have batted at least in three innings – Royal Challengers seem to have their batting sorted, with all of du Plessis, Virat Kohli and Shahbaz Ahmed having contributed in one game or the other. Karthik also strikes in excess of 155 against Chris Jordan, Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja.

While the Super Kings have had the upper hand over their southern neighbours winning 18 off the 28 encounters, the time seems opportune for Royal Challengers to better that record.

Royal Challengers will be without Harshal Patel, who has left the bubble due to the demise of his sister. It is not known yet when he would return. In order to re-enter the IPL bubble, he will have to undergo a three-day quarantine.

Chennai Super Kings: 1 Robin Uthappa, 2 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 3 Moeen Ali, 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 Shivam Dube 6 Ravindra Jadeja (capt), 7 MS Dhoni (wk), 8 Dwayne Bravo, 9 Dwaine Pretorius 10 Chris Jordan, 11 Mukesh Choudhary/Tushar Deshpande

Royal Challengers Bangalore: 1 Faf du Plessis (capt), 2 Anuj Rawat, 3 Virat Kohli 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 6 Shahbaz Ahmed, 7 David Willey, 8 Wanindu Hasaranga, 9 Siddarth Kaul, 10 Mohammed Siraj, 11 Akash Deep

Out of Wanindu Hasaranga‘s eight wickets thus far, seven have been against right-handers. He has an economy over nine against left-handers and Super Kings have three in Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja and Shivam Dube, who can pose problems. In the two matches where Dube got a score of note – 57 versus Punjab Kings and 49 against Lucknow Super Giants – he had come in to bat in the sixth and eighth over respectively. Super Kings need to back Dube to bat more overs by having him enter around the seventh or eighth over mark. That could help them minimise the Hasaranga threat as the legspinner is not quite at home against left-handers. Moreover, Dube’s strike-rate against spin since IPL 2021 is 135 and he has been dismissed by spinners just three times in 12 innings.
  • Moeen has been out to Glenn Maxwell twice in four innings and averages just 5.5 against him with a strike rate of 73.
  • Dhoni has scored 51 off the 28 balls he has faced against Mohammed Siraj and is yet to be dismissed by the pacer.
  • Although Dinesh Karthik has a strike rate of 155 and 159 against Dwayne Bravo and Jadeja, he has been dismissed three times each by them.
  • Super Kings will be the sixth team to play 200 IPL matches after Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings.

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