Both the teams come into this match with their morale on a high. CSK mauled the Punjab team at Mohali and chasing 139 without losing a wicket is a brilliant effort in this format. Though they were supported by a poor decision from the 3rd umpire Subrat Das (not sure if he will get another game in this edition) and poorer fielding efforts from the KingsX1 fielders, one has to accept that the CSK openers really applied themselves and achieved the win with a great effort. On the other hand, the RCB guys had an easy outing against the KKR. (What else one can expect if Chris Gayle remains not out after 17.3 overs?) :P. The KKR didn’t want to go down without a fight and the skipper lead from the front (Gambhir & Kohli were about to repeat the slapgate).
Coming to day’s match, it is always an exciting when these two heavyweights clash. Though the Chennai team leads 7-5 in the head to head clashes so far, one can’t write off the RCB guys today. With Gayle leading the six-hitters in this edition, Kohli with the orange cap and Vinay Kumar with the purple cap and RCB leading the point table, things do look brighter for the Bangaloreans. RP Singh coming back to form & the performance of the overseas players has been their strengths. Though Murali wont be playing today due to non-cricketing reasons, (being a Tamil and not playing in front of the Tamilnadu fans, will hurt this legend forever) his replacement will be another wily fox , Daniel Vettori. His economy rate is top class and the left arm spinner’s inclusion could well turnout to be a blessing in disguise for the visitors. They can even replace Arun Karthik with Pujara and ask AB to don the big gloves. The Young turk, Kohli is doing a brilliant job as a captain and would love to end up in the right side in a match where he would be facing his Indian captain.
With Hussey scoring big and Vijay getting back his touch, things are looking positive for the men in yellow. With Morris making an impressive debut and Nannes bowling fantastically well, I don’t see any major changes in the lineup. One place up for grabs is of Rajpoot’s. The youngster didn’t bowl great in the only over he was asked to bowl in the previous match and he could well be replaced by Imtiaz Ahmed. In Bravo, Vijay, Raina, Hussey & Badrinath, they have brilliant fielders and they will be tested by the hard hitting RCB batsmen. If they are able to pick up the wicket of Gayle early, then the super kings will believe they have the match in their pockets. Am sure MSD would love to give Gayle a surprise by opening with a spinner or a little known Indian bowler.
My prediction for today: Though both the teams match each other in every department, and it looks more like a 50-50 game, I would like to give a 51-49 in favour of the Chennai team ;) .
My playing eleven for today’s match :
CSK : Vijay, Hussey, Raina, Badrinath, Dhoni, Jadeja, Bravo, Morris, Ashwin, Nannes, Imtiaz
RCB : Gayle, Agarwal, Kohli, AB de Villiers, Pujara, Henriques, Rahul, VinayKumar, Unadkat, RP Singh, Vettori.