Chennai, May 9: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will look to avenge their first leg loss against Rajasthan Royals (RR) and consolidate their position at the top when the two former champions clash in a IPL 2015 match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here tomorrow.
CSK started their campaign with three back-to-back wins before their rampaging run was halted by RR at Ahmedabad on April 19.
The two-time champions, however, didn't lose their momentum as they notched up four more wins on the trot, before losing to Kolkata and Hyderabad.
They bounced back with a win against Royal Challengers Bangalore but lost to Mumbai Indians during their last outing and MS Dhoni's men will now look to get across RR to get back to their winning ways once again.
Rajasthan too were on a roll from the start as they registered five straight victories, before losing to Kings XI Punjab in a Super Over on April 21. They lost to RCB next and then could just helplessly watch as two of their matches against KKR and RCB got abandoned because of weather.
Shane Watson's men arrested the slide with a victory against Delhi Daredevils on May 3 but a resurgent Sunrisers Hyderabad brought back down once again last Thursday.
With six wins in 12 matches, Rajasthan are placed at the second position in the table and they would be eagar to find their touch and ensure a berth in the play-offs with another win in their penultimate league match tomorrow.
Strong CSK batting line-up
An experienced campaigner, Dhoni has led the Super Kings well as under him, the team has won seven out of 11 matches to top the table with 14 points.
The two-time champions boast of a strong batting line-up with the likes of Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith doing a great job opening the innings. The middle-order is also well manned by Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis and Dhoni himself.
CSK's bowling is one of the most formidable unit in IPL 8 as pacers Ashish Nehra and Dwayne Bravo holds the top two position in the list of highest wicket taker with 17 scalps each so far.
Medium pacer Mohit Sharma, spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Pawan Negi also have done their job, whether it is restricting the batsmen or picking up wickets and Dhoni will expect another good show from his team.
Quality players in RR side
Champions of the inaugural IPL 2008, Royals too boost of some quality players with opener Ajinkya Rahane being their main anchor when it comes to batting.
The Mumbai batsman has done bulk of the scoring for RR and is currently the owner of the orange cap. Steve Smith and Watson too have the experience and prowess to accumulate quick runs or build an innings as required.
Among others, Sanju Samson and Karun Nair too have shown that they can step up when the team needs them most.
Their bowling unit too have enough fire-power with Tim Southee, Dhawal Kulkarni and Watson making life difficult for the opposition batsmen. Pravin Tambe and James Faulkner too did their best to restrict the batsmen in the middle-overs.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Samuel Badree, Ankush Bains, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Matt Henry, Michael Hussey, Ravindra Jadeja, Brendon McCullum, Mithun Manhas, Ronit More, Pawan Negi, Ashish Nehra, Ishwar Pandey, Irfan Pathan, Pratyush Singh, Suresh Raina, Mohit Sharma, Rahul Sharma, Dwayne Smith, Andrew Tye, Eklavya Dwivedi, Kyle Abbott, Baba Aparajith.
Rajasthan Royals: Shane Watson (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Steve Smith, James Faulkner, Deepak Hooda, Sanju Samson (wicketkeeper), Karun Nair, Dhawal Kulkarni, Tim Southee, Stuart Binny, Chris Morris, Pravin Tambe, Abhishek Nayar, Pardeep Sahu, Rusty Theron, Dinesh Salunkhe, Vikramjit Malik, Rahul Tewatia, Rajat Bhatia, Sagar Trivedi, Dishant Yagnik and Ankit Sharma.
Match starts 8 PM IST
Also playing on Sunday - MI Vs RCB in Mumbai (Match Preview)