IPL 2020, Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals: Steve Smith, Jofra Archer add firepower to RR as they face in-form N.K.



Chennai Super Kings (CSK) overcame all odds to win the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 opener against Mumbai Indians. Two of his best players were eliminated from the tournament, a member of the team has joined the bio-bubble and a team with many players on the wrong side of the 30s is not expected to be the fastest on the field. However, Faf du Plessis grabbed a brilliant catch on the boundary rope and then gave the team home with the bat and Ambati Rayudu played the anchor, before putting the discus on De Plessis. MS Dhoni, who returned to competitive cricket after a gap of over a year, was not required to open his account.

Rajasthan Royals also have their problems. Star all-rounder Ben Stokes is yet to arrive in the UAE from New Zealand, where he has been discharged from England on compassionate grounds to live with his ailing father.

Jose Butler, counted among the best T20 batsmen in the world, is still in quarantine and will not be available for Rajasthan’s IPL opener.

However, fit and available Rajasthan like Steve Smith, Joffra Archer, Tom Curren and David Miller have foreign players who can make an impact.

Apart from this, Kolkata Knight Riders have two-time IPL winners, all-rounder Shreyas Gopal and veteran Indian players like opener Sanju Samson.

Oshen Thomas brings momentum from the Caribbean and could cause double trouble for Archer with Chennai. Medium pacers Jaydev Unadkat and Andrew Tye have undergone changes and each have an IPL hat-trick while mystery spinner Mayank Markande will team up with Gopal to spin.

Rajasthan seems to have all their bases covered, but many other teams. It is how you play on the field that matters.

For CSK, Dwayne Bravo was an IPL opener and Imran Tahir did not get a place in the XI. If Bravo is fit for the game, he could replace Shane Watson or Lungi Ngidi.

Sam Curren will be a replacement for Bravo, but given Curren’s heroine with the bat and ball in the previous game, it is unlikely that CSK will ask him to sit out.

However, Dhoni’s penchant was not given to set things right until they break up, with Bravo unlikely to make it to the game, even though T20 is the highest wicket taker in cricket.

Watson has to find his mojo against the team he has played for in the past and enjoyed a lot of success with it. And for the fans, who missed out on the Dhoni Special after just a year of waiting ‘Thala’, May be a charm at other times.

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