IPL: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Chennai Super Kings Preview

Cricketer hits ball

Our cricket writer previews Thursday's IPL clash between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Chennai Super Kings set to take place at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. 

A third week and 24th match for the 2018 Indian Premier League, as two teams synonymous with losing finals try to keep their round-robin campaign on track before opportunity eventually knocks at the business end of the tournament.

The Royal Challengers pulled off a great chase against the Delhi Daredevils late last week, while the Super Kings looked like they'd lose to the Sunrisers Hyderabad for the most part of the fixture before snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

RCB vs CSK | Wednesday, 25 April | M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru | 16:30

To Win Match
Royal Challengers Bangalore 82/100
Tie 35/1
Chennai Super Kings 21/20

Royal Challengers Bangalore
Not for the first time and probably not the last, the Royal Challengers can be accused of not having the appropriate bowling resources to complement a power-packed batting order. Even then, their batsmen haven't been delivering on cue often enough, but that's changed somewhat recently, as Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and company tuck in.

Seamers Umesh Yadav and Chris Woakes are a solid new-ball pairing, but Kohli won't be afraid to loop the ball to spinner Washington Sundar in the opening powerplay. He might even open the attack ahead of Woakes, who can then be saved for an over or two more at the death of the innings.

Successfully combating Ambati Rayudu will be top of the agenda for the bowlers. Rayudu's cool, calm and collection in the face of adversity against Hyderabad was truly impressive - and ultimately sealed the contest for Chennai. His ability to effectively hit inside-out will really test the opposition bowlers' lines.

Bangalore have not beaten the Super Kings in their last four attempts. Half of those defeats came batting first, but pursuing hefty targets has become significantly easier since, which will leave the result of the toss - and presumably a decision to bowl first - all the more important.

Chennai Super Kings
Chennai showed on the weekend that there is, indeed, absolutely no need to panic if the first half of the innings doesn't go according to plan. They didn't have much more than 50 after the opening 10 overs, but raced to 180-plus in the second half. This measured approach will be required again.

While it won't be the most ill-disciplined attack they would have faced in the tournament so far, it certainly won't be the most accurate and controlled - and the chance to capitalise on this, at a venue synonymous with shorter boundaries, is obvious. As good as Faf du Plessis is, he simply can't be allowed to open the batting ahead of Rayudu, though.

Their bowlers were well challenged by Hyderabad skipper Kane Williamson - and Karn Sharma smacked to all corners. The life of a leg-spinner is a tough one, with Sharma in need of a big performance to repay the faith invested in him. Alternatively, Suresh Raina might be needed to turn his arm over for few.

The Super Kings have been around the proverbial block a good few times, despite being absent from the tournament in 2015 and 2016. With the very experienced Mahendra Singh Dhoni at the helm, they're all but fully equipped with exactly what it takes to undo the Challengers.

Verdict: Chennai Super Kings 21/20
Their resilience and resolve against the Sunrisers epitomised their zeal and motivation - and a dominant track record against Wednesday's opposition suggests nothing less than comfortable victory will transpire.

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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