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|AB de Villiers||9||10||0||0||90.00|
|Colin de Grandhomme||4||6||1||0||66.67|
IPL 2019 is finally here and we have some of the biggest names in cricket headlining the first match. MS Dhoni will be leading the defending champions, Chennai Super Kings, against the Virat Kohli led Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The opening match of the IPL 2019 is going to be played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk Chennai and so is going to be a home fixture for CSK. Shane Watson, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, and Shimron Hetmyer are some of the names that are going to be taking the field for the first match of the Indian Premier League 2019.
Starting well has not been something that both of these teams have traditionally, although, CSK did manage a good start to their season in 2018. The first half of IPL 2019 is going to be quite crucial because all the teams are going to have their full contingent of players available to choose from. The ICC World Cup 2019 is starting just a few days after the IPL finishes and so a number of international players may end up leaving the tournament a bit early.
CSK has decided to keep its side almost unchanged from the one that won it the title in IPL 2018. They have added only two players to their side, Mohit Sharma and Ruturaj Gaekwad. Mohit Sharma has been with CSK before and in fact, launched into the international team after his performances. He has since regressed in recent years and is definitely not in the first rung of Indian fast bowlers right now.
The pitch at Chepauk should be good for batting and the crowd support for the home side is going to be very loud. CSK home matches were shifted out of Chennai after just one match in 2018 and there was a two-year suspension prior to that. CSK fans are among the most passionate IPL fans in the country and have been starved of action for a long time. Expect the stadiums to be jam-packed in every match.
The batting is going to be the biggest strength for CSK in this match. They are up against an RCB side which has struggled to get its bowling right in the last few seasons. Players like Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Sam Billings, and Kedar Jadhav make CSK a formidable batting side. Billin could miss out depending on the balance of the side but Dwayne Bravo and maybe Ravindra Jadeja are also expected to play, both of whom are very handy batsmen apart from being dependable bowlers.
Strong batting was what won CSK the IPL in 2018 and we can expect more of the same in 2019. Shane Watson has been playing well in the PSL, Sam Billings has been scoring runs with ease for England, and Faf du Plessis perhaps the best form of his life.
The bowling unit will have to choose from some excellent spin options like Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh, and Ravindra Jadeja. Mohit Sharma, Lungi Ngidi, Shardul Thakur, and Deepak Chahar are the bowling options to consider.
This is definitely a slightly weaker aspect of CSK’s side and one that will require some deft leadership from MS Dhoni.
Ambati Rayudu, SR Watson, SK Raina, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, SN Thakur, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir.
RCB finished 6th last year in the IPL and was one of the more lopsided sides in the competition. Their batting was very top-heavy but did not have an established opening batsman. Their bowling was also one of the most expensive in the entire Indian Premier League and ended up losing them a lot of games.
RCB went into the auction with a clear view to address some of the weaknesses.
They still don’t have an opening batsman but they definitely have a much better balanced batting lineup than they did last year. Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers are obviously the two players that everyone will be keeping an eye on but Shimron Hetmyer, Heinrich Klaasen, and Marcus Stoinis are superb players too.
Virat and AB are two of the best players in the world and now that AB de Villiers is not playing international cricket, he is going to be more motivated to do well in the IPL. How well these two do in the tournament is going to decide how far RCB goes in IPL 2019.
We think backing AB de Villiers as a potential high-scorer of IPL 2019 won't be a bad idea. He did not have a good PSL but has always been very good in previous IPL editions.
Marcus Stoinis is one of the best all-rounders in the world and is also rated very highly by Virat Kohli. He could be the opener that RCB looks for alongside someone like Shimron Hetmyer.
The problem for RCB is going to be finding some quality Indian batsmen. Gurkeerat Singh, Himmat Singh, and Devdutt Padikal are in the squad but are definitely unproven quantities.
RCB also has Moeen Ali and Colin de Grandhomme to choose from to help give quality all-round options in the lower middle order. Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar are good spin bowling options but the fast bowling choices are a bit thin.
Umesh Yadav should play in the first eleven with maybe Mohammad Siraj taking the second spot.
Overall, though, the RCB side is much better balanced for IPL 2019.
Parthiv Patel, V Kohli, Moeen Ali, AB de Villiers, Shimron Hetmyer, Shivam Dube, Colin de Grandhomme, Umesh Yadav, YS Chahal, M Siraj, NA Saini.
The side winning the toss is likely to want to field first
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
The IPL 2019 match between CSK and RCB is going to be played at the M. Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Chennai. The weather forecast for match day very good. A lot of sun and low humidity is expected which should allow for uninterrupted cricket to be played out.
The pitch at Chepauk is going to be good for batting but it is a typical slow pitch. Not like the ones we can expect in Mohali or in Mumbai. The spinners will have a role to play but we expect the batsmen to dominate.
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The first match of an IPL tournament can be quite tricky to make the picks because it is unclear what strategy the camp might be following. This is why we recommend sticking with the safe options largely.
Wicket Keeper: Dhoni at 9 points seems a bit expensive when his batting position and form is unclear. Parthiv Patel could be opening the batting for RCB and is almost certain to be in the playing eleven.
Batsmen: Choosing Batsmen from the options available is very difficult because there is so much quality. We have tried to stick to current India team players, overseas batsmen in form, top-order batsmen and T20 specialists. Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayadu, and Faf du Plessis.
All Rounders: Moeen Ali from England was talked up by Virat Kohli as a potential impact player and could get a run. The second all-rounder we are choosing is Washington Sundar. His batting is underrated but his bowling is very effective in T20 cricket.
Bowlers: This gives us space for three bowlers. Imran Tahir (at 8.5 points), Mohammad Siraj, and Karn-Sharma appear to be the best value for money choices at this point in time.
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Both the teams are going to be a serious contender in IPL 2019. They have a strong batting lineup and bowling that can be exploited. Playing at home with a side that has been together for a long period of time is a big advantage. We think Chennai could start their IPL 2019 campaign with a win.
Back Chennai Super Kings to win.
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