About the Match
It is set to be a clash of the titans when the two T20 giants face one another in the 1st semi-final of the Champions League on 4 Oct at Jaipur. The nail-biting finish to the group matches, architected by T&T’s superb win over Chennai kept everyone guessing about the semifinal line up till the end! CSK with this shocking loss, dropped to No.2 in Group B with 12 points and NRR of +0.271, slightly below T&T, thus facing Group ‘A’ toppers Rajasthan Royals who have 16 points. The Royals have an unbroken record playing at their home ground and CSK is keen to disrupt it. Both the teams have worked hard throughout the league and their positive attitude and skills are sure to provide many a fireworks at Jaipur on Friday.
Chennai Super Kings:
It was a disappointing finish for CSK in the group matches with a shocking defeat against T&T; with no fire either from the renowned batting brigade or the exemplary bowling squad. Hussey had the rare off-day and went down right at the start. Though Vijay, Raina and Dhoni tried to anchor the innings, regular stumble of wickets and a complete collapse of the middle order led to a lowly total of 118 runs. CSK players were stunned and couldn’t come to terms with their dismal performance. The bowlers too weren’t lucky and couldn’t defend the total against T&T, who peaked when it was required the most. CSK has learnt some bitter lessons yesterday and will put this loss behind it; the team will come out with all guns blazing to make a huge comeback against the Royals.
They are unbeaten in the group league matches and had convincing wins against all opponents. Though Dravid has not played big innings in the run up so far, he has demonstrated unparalleled captaincy in keeping the team in high spirits and all members of the team had a ‘can-do’ approach every time. His lower order batsmen are yet to come to the crease for batting. While Rahane and Samson did a great job for the team in batting, Shukla, Malik and Tambe answered the call of the captain at crucial times and gave required breaks, with Binny, Watson and Menaria playing as dependable all-rounders. The Royals have the required depth to face any opposition and their variety in bowling shows lots of promise for the team to come right on top.
Rajasthan Royals is a balanced team with the fighting spirit to achieve their objective; and with the psychological advantage of playing at home, this team is a formidable one even for the giants from Chennai. CSK is equally competitive and have the required power to topple any opponent with its strong batting line-up and various options in bowling. The match will be a close one with many thrills; however, I think that the Royals just due to their excellent home record and top form will emerge victorious once again on home turf.
Rajasthan Royals, 2.20 @ William Hill