After Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the Dream11 Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 action now shifts to Sharjah as Rajasthan Royals (RR) kick off their campaign, taking on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Tuesday.
Jos Buttler, who is in quarantine with his family will not be available for RR’s first game while star all-rounder Ben Stokes is yet to join the squad. However, there is still enough in the tank for RR with Steve Smith set to lead the side, and Jofra Archer, David Miller and an array of Indian stars in the mix.
On the other hand, CSK, who won the tournament opener, have several proven match-winners and some young and exciting talent at their disposal.
Here we pick five players who could make an impact on the game which will be played at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
One wicket, a catch and a 6-ball 18-run cameo behind him in his debut game for CSK, Sam Curran may once again play a key role for his side in their second game of IPL 2020. The England all-rounder’s presence gives CSK an option to field an extra batsman, without compromising on the bowling depth, and going by the contribution he put in during CSK’s win over Mumbai Indians, he becomes a player to keep your eye on.
Sanju Samson is an absolute treat to watch with the bat in hand. He can time the ball well, change gears and clear the fence with hardly any effort. He has two IPL hundreds and over 2200 runs against his name, and will be key to RR’s fortunes. Add to it the fact that he may also don the wicketkeeping gloves in the absence of Buttler.
Faf du Plessis
Brilliant in the field (3 catches) and dependable with the bat (58*). Faf du Plessis’ showings in CSK’s win over MI in the season opener once again highlighted what he brings to the table for CSK. He will once again be crucial for CSK as they look to seal their second win in a row in IPL 2020.
The left-arm pacer has been in and around RR for a few years now. So, what’s new this season? While he, like many other Indian cricketers, has not played any competitive cricket for a while due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Unadkat will come into this year’s IPL on the back of one of his most successful Ranji Trophy seasons, where he led Saurashtra to the maiden title triumph, and picked up 67 wickets. His experience and bowling style could play a key role for RR in their opening game against CSK.
He went for 29 runs in the first two overs against MI, but Lungi Ngidi picked up three wickets for nine runs in his last two overs, helping CSK make a comeback into the match. He may once again be the man that CSK will turn to at the end of the innings against RR.
He was the leading run-getter during India’s run to the final of the Under 19 World Cup earlier in the year. He also remains the youngest Indian to score a double ton in List A cricket. Yashasvi Jaiswal, a clean striker of the ball, is the new addition to the RR squad and it won’t be too surprising if he walks out to open the batting in RR’s first game of the season.
RR’s record at the venue: Played 1, Lost 1
CSK’s record at the venue: Played 1, Won 1
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