The MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai might turn out to be a battlefield of spinners when Chennai Super Kings host Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday.
Both the teams have begun their IPL 2023 journey on a decent note, with Rajasthan being more impressive of the two. Point-wise, both are on the same level with two wins from three matches, but Rajasthan’s mighty batting line-up has looked fearsome, while left-arm seamer Trent Boult has been giving them dream starts with the ball.
Chennai’s batting too has looked to be in good hands, with Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ajinkya Rahane being the standout performers. But Chennai’s pace bowling has been erratic to say the least and they need to be more disciplined for sure.
But on Wednesday, the difference-makers could well be the spinners from both the sides, because the heat in Chennai is likely to render the pitch favourable for a good amount of turn.
Rajasthan cannot be blamed if they think they have an edge with Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal in their ranks. Ashwin, by the way, has the most IPL wickets at the Chepauk. But Chennai are no pushovers, with Ravindra Jadeja and Mitchell Santner looking to be in fine form. The home team will also have the option of including Sri Lankan spinner Maheesh Theekshana in the XI.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, however, will continue to miss Deepak Chahar and England all-rounder Ben Stokes. But in Chennai, outsmarting captain Dhoni is always a Herculean task, irrespective of the conditions and personnel.
But Rajasthan have the team to tame the lions in their den. Sanju Samson’s side have consistently crossed the 190-mark this season. Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Samson and Shimron Hetmyer are in red-hot form.
■ Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals, 7.30pm, Chennai, live on Star Sports & Jio Cinema