Today’s first semi-final is between two heavyweight IPL teams, with Rajasthan Royals taking on the Chennai Super Kings. CSK need to play out of your skin to get the better of Royals in their own backyard – Sawai Man Singh stadium. On paper, the game appears to be a contest between equals, but the Royals, given their home record, should be fancying their chances.
RR have been invincible at home this season. Royals are a strong force to reckon with when they are playing at the SMS stadium. They know the nature of the pitch well and they will have the majority of the crowd support when compared to the opposition. Their bowlers are in fine form, although the batting has been inconsistent. Sanju Samson and Brad Hodge are having a dream tournament. The 19-year-old batsman from Kerala has been a class act for the Royals. Dravid’s range of bowling options and some solid batsmen in the line-up, will make Rajasthan a tough nut to crack, even against a formidable Chennai.
Chennai Super Kings:
Chennai are a dangerous unit and perhaps have the most destructive batsmen in T20 cricket at their disposal. Hussey, Raina, Dhoni, Bravo, Jadeja. They might have lost their final group game against T&T, but CSK will have a point to prove against Rajasthan Royals in the semifinals. CSK is one of the few teams that are more than capable of breaching the Royal fortress. CSK will start as favourites because of the depth in their line-up and their prior experience of playing in knockout matches. The visitors have tremendous depth in their batting and bowling. In Dhoni, they have a cool and shrewd skipper who is also in blazing from with the willow. Suresh Raina and Michael Hussey are as solid as ever and Murali Vijay has also shown good form. Ravindra Jadeja has not been up to the mark but he can be never be counted out.
Rahul Dravid (Capt), Stuart Binny, Kevon Cooper, James Faulkner, Brad Hodge, Vikramjeet Malik, Ashok Menaria, Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson, Rahul Shukla, Shaun Tait, Pravin Tambe, Siddharth Trivedi, Shane Watson and Dishant Yagnik.
Chennai Super Kings:
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (C & Wk), R Ashwin, S Badrinath, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Jason Holder, Michael Hussey, Imtiaz Ahmed, Ravindra Jadeja, Albie Morkel, Chris Morris, Suresh Raina, Wriddhiman Saha, Mohit Sharma, Murali Vijay.