IPL 2022 RR vs CSK Preview - Royals chasing top 2 finish for first time since inaugural IPL
Key match stats RR vs CSK
Pitch Stats – Brabourne Stadium
Average first innings score: 179
Average first innings winning score: 198
Average powerplay score: 43
Win % batting 1st vs batting 2nd: 47% / 53%
Team form RR vs CSK
RR – WLWLL
CSK – LLWLW
Recent meetings: IPL 2021 - RR won by 5 wickets, CSK won by 45 runs
RR vs CSK Preview
With RCB's win last night ending the hopes of a couple of franchises of making a last gasp grab for 4th spot, we now know who 3 of the teams left in the competition next week will be but we don't quite know who will be going through to the eliminator and who the qualifier.
A Rajasthan win here today would guarantee them a top 2 finish for the first time since 2008 when their side captained by the late Shane Warne finished top of the league and were ultimately crowned champions. It would be fitting if they could manage a similar run in the year of his death.
As for CSK, it would take an almost impossible defeat followed by a massive victory for Mumbai in their final match for them to finish bottom.
It's been a difficult year for the men in yellow who have now started to blood a few youngsters in preparation for what will need to be a significant overhaul in the close season.
Narayan Jagadeesan has been around the CSK squad for the last few years but will hope to add to his 6 previous appearances with another outing here, while much younger still are Prashant Solanki who bowled a neat set of 4 overs in his debut against Gujarat and Matheesha Pathirana, the man dubbed 'Baby Malinga' for the uncanny similarity in their bowling actions.
Focus will also fall on who might be playing or indeed have played their final games for Chennai. Speculation is rife about the possible retirement of MS Dhoni who usually keeps his cards close to his chest on such matters. Beyond Dhoni, it might also be the last we've seen of an ageing Dwayne Bravo in a yellow shirt and Ravi Jadeja will almost certainly spend the off-season considering his options following a brief but unsuccessful spell as skipper.
As far as team selection is concerned, Rajasthan will be happy to welcome back Shimron Hetmyer whose runs at the back end of the innings have been crucial to the Royals this year. However, there is an injury cloud over fellow West Indian Obed McCoy who struggled to finish his spell against LSG.
That 5th bowling spot has been a concern for RR all season and McCoy's inclusion helps captain Sanju Samson focus the likes of Boult and Prasidh Krishna in the powerplay where they are undoubtedly more effective while saving McCoy for his preferred role later in the innings.
The Brabourne has generally been a batsmen's wicket but with longer boundaries in the pockets of the ground, it does mean that players have to hit the ball cleanly to successfully clear the ropes and that has also brought leg spin in particular into the equation as a wicket taking option.
|Venue||Strike Rate for Spinners||Economy for Spinners|
In general then while the Brabourne tends not to offer much spin, it's dimensions do mean that the slower bowlers can pick up some wickets although as you'll see from the graph above, they do buy them at a higher cost here than at any other venue used so far in IPL 2022.
Rajasthan for their part have played 2 won 2 at the Brabourne including their last match here against LSG the side that they are hunting down for 2nd spot. While CSK, played a couple of early fixtures here and lost them both.
RR vs CSK head to head
CSK bowling vs RR batting
While CSK's bowling attack is likely to be very inexperienced at this level, it will at least mean that they are unknown to the majority of this Rajasthan batting line-up.
At least part of the reason that Lasith Malinga was such a success particularly in white ball cricket was that his action was so unique that it took batsmen far longer to adjust to it than it would to your more regular right-arm over the wicket bowler who was delivering the ball from roughly the same height and with almost the same trajectory as the last guy. Can Matheesha Pathirana achieve something similar?
Of course, Rajasthan have Malinga on their coaching staff this season so perhaps in preparation for this match he'll have jumped in the nets to give his side a look at what they can expect from the man who's trying to emulate his action.
CSK will also hope that Moukesh Choudhary can continue to have a golden arm in the powerplay. If he can knick out key wickets at the top of this Rajasthan order then we've already seen that the lack of depth in their batting line-up is a concern.
Mukesh Choudhary powerplay bowling stats IPL 2022
RR bowling vs CSK batting
Gaikwad's form of late is at least the cause of some hope for CSK going forward. The young right-hander endured a difficult first half of the season but has pulled things around to lead the scoring charts for CSK again.
Having said that, it's not the most difficult of tasks to be top run scorer for the defending champions this year. Only Gaikwad has managed to break the 300 run mark for the men in yellow during IPL 2022, every other franchise has at least 2 players who have exceeded that total which demonstrates how fragile and inconsistent this CSK line-up has been.
Boult vs Gaikwad T20 head to head
In this match, Gaikwad will have to survive against Trent Boult who looks to have returned to form and fitness at just the right time for Rajasthan and whose opening spell at this ground against LSG put the Royals in a commanding position despite their below-par first innings score.
Through the middle overs, Rajasthan will then look to strangle this CSK batting line-up with spin. The battle between the off-spinners should be a good one to watch as Moeen Ali looks to take on Ravi Ashwin who despite some lusty blows from the left-hander has so far had the better of him in previous T20 encounters.
Ashwin vs Moeen T20 head to head
A weakness for Rajasthan all season has been the number of runs that they've conceded at the death. With none of the first choice 4 bowlers really adept at bowling in the final 5, Rajasthan have often chosen to use Chahal a lot later than they might otherwise and he has performed admirably in that role with 13 of his wickets this year coming in the final 5.
He'll likely be up against MS Dhoni at that stage of the game today who averages 44 against Chahal with a Strike Rate of 139.7 vs the leg-spinner. In fact, Dhoni has had a pretty decent season with the bat considering the struggles of the side around him.
MS Dhoni death over stats IPL 2022
Should MS finally hang-up his bat and retire then CSK would not only be losing their leader but also a man who can still finish an innings as his death over stats for IPL 2022 show.
All stats used in this blog are from my own database which is freely accessible at T20 head to head. Images are my own with the exception of player profiles and background images which are used under a creative commons license or otherwise royalty free