Image Courtesy: @chennaiipl
Jaipur: Rajasthan Royals (RR) will aim to keep themselves alive in the Indian Premier League (IPL) when they take on a confident Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium here on Friday.
After a hat-trick of defeats, Rajasthan kept themselves afloat in the cash-rich league when they defeated Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) by 15 runs in their last game.
The Ajinkya Rahane-led side, placed at the sixth spot in the points table with just eight points in their kitty, will need to come out with their best in a do-or-die game against the yellow brigade.
Skipper Rahane will once again expect his team to get their act together and aim for consistency as they did against Punjab on Sunday.
Rahane and Samson have been average while the inconsistent run of Ben Stokes has affected their performance this season.
Stokes, the costliest buy in IPL auction 2018, has miserably failed to perform both with the bat and ball.
Jos Buttler played a 58-ball 82 run knock to lift Rajasthan to 158 for eight against Punjab, a target which their bowlers defended. The English batsman has accumulated 320 runs from ten games averaging 35.55.
Among the bowlers, young seamer Jofra Archer has done well to claim nine wickets from four matches while this IPL's costliest Indian buy Jaydev Unadkat has also been amongst the wickets.
Spinner K. Gowtham, who has bagged eight wickets from ten matches, came out with an impressive performance in the last outing and will need to repeat the show as the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side has struggled against spinners this season.
On the other hand, another win for Chennai will cement their place in the play-offs.
The southern outfit is in red-hot form this season after seven wins from 10 games and will look to consolidate their position in the top two.
Chennai batters are in top form however, death-over bowling still remains a concern.
Most of the batsmen -- Ambati Rayudu, Australian Shane Watson, West Indian Dwayne Bravo, skipper Dhoni and Suresh Raina -- have contributed whenever the team needed. Rayudu has batted well both as an opener and at number four, amassing 423 runs from 10 games.
With 360 runs from 10 innings, Dhoni is placed seventh on the run-scorers list.
Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja, who struggled against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), emerged with a match-winning figure of 3/18 -- in a major relief for the team management.
The pace attack will once again feature Lungi Ngidi, David Willey and Shardul Thakur.
Depending on their terrific form, Chennai will once again be the favourites in Friday's clash, though a desperate Rajasthan will look to come out all guns blazing.
Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain/Wicket-keeper), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, Kanishk Seth, Lungi Ngidi, Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, N Jagadeesan, David Willey
Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane (Captain), Ben Stokes, Stuart Binny, Sanju Samson (Wicket-keeper), Jos Buttler, Rahul Tripathi, D'Arcy Short, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat, Ankit Sharma, Anureet Singh, Shreyas Gopal, Prashant Chopra, Sudhesan Midhun, Ben Laughlin, Mahipal Lomror, Aryaman Birla, Jatin Saxena, Dushmantha Chameera, Heinrich Klaasen, Ish Sodhi
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