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Dhoni set to return as CSK aim to seal play-off berth vs RCB

April 20, 2019 18:30 IST

CSK captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni missed the game against SRH due to a stiff back but is likely to be back for Sunday's match against Virat Kohli-led RCB.

IMAGE: Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, left, with Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli. Photograph: BCCI

Chennai Super Kings will be expected to shrug off a rare loss and effectively seal a play-off berth against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, in Bengaluru, on Sunday.

 

Defending champions CSK, who lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad in the previous game for only their second loss this season, will take their tally to 16 points with a win in Bengaluru, which should be enough to guarantee a place in the play-offs.

CSK captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni missed the game against SRH due to a stiff back but is likely to be back for Sunday's match against Virat Kohli-led RCB.

"Probably he will play in the next game against RCB," stand-in skipper Suresh Raina had said after the loss to SRH.  

Following the tournament opener between CSK and RCB in Chennai, both teams have had contrasting campaigns. While CSK have lived up to their reputation again, RCB continue to under perform.

No doubt, RCB will be fired up after the win against KKR at Kolkata on Friday night when they finally managed to defend despite a brutal assault from Andre Russell and Nitish Rana. It was only their second win in nine games in the season so far though and it still keeps them mathematically alive in the tournament.

Virat Kohli

IMAGE: Virat Kohli celebrates scoring a century against Kolkata Knight Riders. Photograph: BCCI

RCB could also take a cue from a similar situation in 2016 when they had lost five of their first seven games, but ended up in the play-offs after winning six of their last seven matches.

In the absence of indisposed AB de Villiers on Friday, Kohli took it all upon himself to post a big total and in the process scored his first century of the season. With AB expected to be back, RCB will be aiming to please their loyal fans with a victory at last on their home ground.  

Despite the arrival of Dale Steyn, their bowling remains a worry as it was evident at the Eden Gardens where Russell and Rana almost pulled off the impossible after KKR needed 113 off the last six overs. The hosts just fell short by 10 runs as Moeen Ali saved the day for RCB with both bat and ball, having defended 24 in the final over.

On the the other hand, CSK will fancy themselves against RCB and sail into the play-offs. Dhoni, who has scored 230 runs in eight games including two half-centuries, will hold the key once again.

The star bowler for CSK this season has been 40-year-old Imran Tahir, who has taken 13 wickets.

Teams:

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), Parthiv Patel (w/k), AB de Villiers, Colin de Grandhomme, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Moeen Ali, Shimron Hetmyer, Dale Steyn, Shivam Dube, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Devdutt Padikkal, Himmat Singh, Milind Kumar, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Heinrich Klaasen, Pawan Negi, Washington Sundar, Akshdeep Nath, Prayas Ray Barman, Kulwant Khejroliya, Tim Southee.

Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain, w/k), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Murali Vijay, Kedar Jadhav, Sam Billings, Ravindra Jadeja, Dhruv Shorey, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Rituraj Gaikwad, Dwayne Bravo, Karn Sharma, Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Santner, Shardul Thakur, Mohit Sharma, K M Asif, Deepak Chahar, N Jagadeesan (wk), Scott Kuggeleijn.

Match starts at 8pm IST.

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