Jaipur, May 9: Two-time champions, Chennai Super Kings are feeling the heat. They are in danger of missing out IPL 5 play-offs. Captain MS Dhoni needs to lead the team's revival starting on Thursday as they face a confident Rajasthan Royals.
IPL 5: Points Table
This is Game 56 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. In a way, it is important for both teams. However, CSK will have to treat this as a must-win clash.
RR are fourth in the table with 12 points from 12 games. CSK have 11 from same number of matches and are placed sixth.
The race for four play-off spots is getting interesting by the day. Toppers Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils have almost sealed their berths.
There is a big battle for the remaining two places. It is between five teams as Pune Warriors and Deccan Chargers are out of the reckoning.
CSK will have to at least win three of their last four games to have hopes of reaching the top four. Dhoni and his men are under pressure to beat Rajasthan in their den.
The arrival of Shane Watson and the inclusion of Shaun Tait have made Rajasthan a formidable outfit. Watson, with his all-round skills and the pace of Tait are proving handy for the team. They have won two successive matches with the Australian duo in the XI.
Rahul Dravid has led from the front. And young Ajinkya Rahane is doing well. Even though Rahane has failed in the last couple of games, he is the one to watch out for.
For CSK, the worry is their bowling. With Doug Bollinger out of the playing XI without form and offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin also struggling, the title holders have surprisingly been below par.
In batting, the opener Faf du Plessis is the only one to have been consistent. Murali Vijay is not the same as he was last season. Dhoni has not got enough chances to excel in the middle.
All these factors are pushing CSK down. The time has come to play like champions and start their journey towards the top of the table.
RR won't be an easy opponent for CSK. The home team will hold slight edge but CSK are known to make a strong comeback. Will they start that in the Pink City?
Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid (captain), Siddharth Trivedi, Shane Watson, Shaun Tait, Dishant Yagnik, Paul Collingwood, S Sreesanth, Brad Hodge, Shreevats Goswami, Faiz Fazal, Samad Fallah, Aditya Dole, Kevon Cooper, Brad Hogg, Aakash Chopra, Ankeet Chavan, Dinesh Chandimal, Deepak Chahar, Johan Botha, Stuart Binny, Ashok Menaria, Sumit Narwal, Pankaj Singh, Pinal Shah, Owais Shah, Abhishek Raut, Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Singh, Amit Paunikar.
Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Srikkanth Anirudha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Subramaniam Badrinath, George Bailey, Doug Bollinger, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Ben Hilfenhaus, Michael Hussey, Ravindra Jadeja, Shadab Jakati, Joginder Sharma, Suraj Randiv, Nuwan Kulasekara, Yo Mahesh, Albie Morkel, Suresh Raina, Wriddhiman Saha, Scott Styris, Sudeep Tyagi, Kuthethurshri Vasudevadas, Ganapathi Vignesh, Murali Vijay.
Match starts at 8PM IST
Also playing on Thursday, at 4PM IST, Deccan Chargers Vs Delhi Daredevils in Hyderabad