Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore: IPL T20 squads, preview, predictions, and fantasy picks

The IPL continues for 2018 with the Chennai Super Kings hosting the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

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Overview

The Chennai Super Kings take on the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the former’s home ground in a bid to go to the top of the points table. The only game they have lost is at the hands of the only team above them, ie KXIP. Bangalore won their last game after a string of disappointments, riding on a brilliant 90 from AB. They are currently sixth and will jump to fifth if they win.

Matches at Bangalore always give the home side a chance to win given the quality in their ranks. Bangalore is the only team to beat Punjab so far, and they might just add CSK to their list of conquests. Can CSK go to the top, or will RCB cause an upset?

Squads

Chennai Super Kings

MS Dhoni (c), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, Kanishk Seth, Lungi Ngidi, Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, N Jagadeesan, David Willey.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Brendon McCullum, Chris Woakes, Colin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali, Quinton de Kock, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Manan Vohra, Kulwant Khejroliya, Aniket Choudhary, Navdeep Saini, Murugan Ashwin, Mandeep Singh, Washington Sundar, Pawan Negi, Mohammed Siraj, Parthiv Patel, Aniruddha Joshi, Pavan Deshpande, Tim Southee, Corey Anderson.

Where the teams stand 

Chennai Super Kings

Chennai has been shockingly enigmatic with their batting so far. Every match has seen a new batsman step up and go on to get a big score, with another usually playing a supportive knock. First it was Bravo, then Billings, then Dhoni, then Watson, and so on. With the inclusion of Faf du Plessis, he is the only one who has not contributed so far, though that is because he has played only one game. What are the odds that he is going to be the one to get the runs for CSK against RCB? Raina has been in sublime form in the last two games, scoring upwards of 40 in each match.  The rest of the batting lineup has also looked in good touch, but one never knows which one will come in and play the big innings. 

After a brilliant match against Mumbai, Chahar suffered two expensive games on the trot. However, his performances in the last two games have proved his enormous potential with the ball. He has picked up 5 wickets in the previous couple of games, conceding at only 3.75 against SRH. Watson and Jadeja have been very economical, but Bravo and Karn have been expensive. Harbhajan might just make it into the team by replacing Karn given how costly he has been with the ball and on the field. Teams have generally done well against CSK with the bat. Chennai have just always found a way to do better. 

Fantasy Picks: Rayudu and Raina have perhaps been the most consistent of the batsmen. Dhoni and Chahar are other obvious picks from CSK. Watson is another player worthy of being in any squad, especially due to his all-round skills. Jadeja can be included just for his economical bowling.    

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Bangalore needed a spark beyond Virat Kohli to inspire them to victory, and they found it in AB de Villiers against Delhi. RCB have chased in every match except one, and out of the four they have chased below 175 only once. Twice it has been over 210. The bowlers have let the team down, but with this batting lineup, they can chase almost anything. A lot of them have looked in great touch. Besides Kohli and AB, de Kock and Mandeep Singh have been striking the ball well. de Kock was unlucky to be forced to sacrifice himself for Kohli against Delhi, but this is his chance. AB showed everyone how he can take the game away from a team in the last match, and Kohli needs no introduction either. Mandeep Singh has been breaking the stereotype surrounding him and his apparent test-batsman status. With a win now under their belt after some disappointments, they will be raring to go against a top side. 

The Bangalore bowling attack has led their team down in recent matches. Umesh Yadav has bowled many genuinely unplayable deliveries with some beautiful angling in or out of the batsman, but he too has been expensive overall. Chris Woakes has also been amongst the wickets, but he consistently concedes over 10 in every match. Same applies to Anderson. Chahal and Sundar have also been inconsistent. They have a tendency to perform either astonishingly well, or horrendously. The batsmen inevitably chase a big target, but at Bangalore, after the victory, Kohli and co. will back themselves to get this one. 

Fantasy Picks: AB, Kohli, and Mandeep Singh are the top picks from RCB. Umesh Yadav, Chahal, and Sundar have been the most economical bowlers for RCB so far, and are the best picks to complete the side. 

Prediction

RCB win. Chennai are yet to produce a truly collective performance, making it hard to peg them as favourites. 

Can RCB snatch an expected win or will the Super Kings cause an upset? Let us know in the comments and poll below.

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