The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will meet the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in game 49 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune on Wednesday. The match will be significant for Bangalore as they have lost three matches in a row. They have slipped to the sixth position with five wins and as many losses from 10 games. In their last match, they went down to the Gujarat Titans (GT) rather tamely. Chennai, on the other hand, beat the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by 13 runs as MS Dhoni returned to captaincy. With three wins from nine games, their qualification path seems very tough, though. Here are five player battles in the RCB vs. CSK clash.
1. Virat Kohli vs Mukesh Choudhary: Former Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli found some much-needed form in the last match. His innings wasn’t a fluent one, but the time he spent at the crease ensured he crossed a fifty, even if a slow one. Kohli would be a lot more confident as he heads out for battle against CSK. For Chennai, Mukesh Choudhary has been among the surprise success stories. The left-arm pacer had a big impact on CSK’s win over SRH as well. He claimed four wickets, including the big ones of Abhishek Sharma and Rahul Tripathi. Choudhary would look to knock over Kohli as well cheaply. Some vulnerabilities have crept into the legend’s game. Can the youngster exploit it?
2. Ruturaj Gaikwad vs Mohammed Siraj: Ruturaj Gaikwad found his groove against SRH. It was exactly the kind of innings he needed to get his rhythm back. The CSK opener timed the ball with ease and picked the gaps without any hassles. Having found his bearings, Gaikwad will be keen to build on the same. Mohammed Siraj has not had a great IPL so far. It has been up and down for him. But RCB will depend on him at the top of the order, given he has tasted success in that role. Can he find a way past Gaikwad early?
3. Glenn Maxwell vs Maheesh Theekshana: This will be an interesting battle in the middle overs. Glenn Maxwell may not have made the big scores but is in terrific boundary-hitting form. In the last game as well, it was his cameo that ensured RCB reached 170 after Kohli struggled to accelerate despite scoring fifty. CSK spinner Maheesh Theekshana is someone who always threatens to pick wickets. Expect Dhoni to use him smartly against Maxwell. He has some well-disguised variations. The Big Show, for sure, will look to unsettle the Chennai spinner by playing the reverse hits and ramps. Who will emerge trumps in this battle?
4. Ravindra Jadeja vs Harshal Patel: When CSK met RCB during the 2021 edition, Ravindra Jadeja famously slammed Harshal Patel for five sixes in an over. Both players would have the same at the back of their minds. However, neither Jadeja nor Harshal have been in great form in IPL 2022. The CSK all-rounder gave up captaincy after it affected his game in a negative way. On the other hand, Harshal has failed to replicate his success from last season. The self-battle adds an intriguing sub-plot to the one-on-one tussle.
5. Dinesh Karthik vs Dwaine Pretorius: Dinesh Karthik has been exceptional for RCB for most part of IPL 2022. However, he has been dismissed for low scores in three matches in a row now. The 36 runs will thus be keen to get back in the zone he was in at the start of the IPL. Bangalore will need him to be at his very best. In case Dwayne Bravo is unfit, there will be additional responsibility on pacer Dwaine Pretorius in the death overs so far. He has done a decent job for Chennaibut will face a herculean task if he comes up against Karthik. Can he stand up to DK’s might?