In-form CSK set to renew rivalry with RCB

The Virat Kohli-led side comes into the fixture on the back of a victory against Delhi Daredevils, which injected some life into its stuttering campaign.

Royal Challengers Bangalore comes into the fixture on the back of a victory against Delhi Daredevils on Saturday, which injected some life into its stuttering campaign.   -  G.P. SAMPATH KUMAR

 

Cricket fans in the city are in for a treat, as the marquee clash of the Indian Premier League comes to town on Wednesday. Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore takes on M.S. Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings in what should be an electric night out at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here.

“It’s a special match. There is a lot of interest and emotion involved, given the proximity of the two cities. It is an occasion that our players really enjoy,” CSK head coach Stephen Fleming said, adding: “We’ve had some great encounters over the years, and tomorrow will be no different. This year, we’ve got a couple more wins than RCB, so we have a little more winning form. But given the quality in the RCB line-up, we expect this to be one of toughest games of the season.”

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RCB comes into the fixture on the back of a victory against Delhi Daredevils on Saturday, which injected some life into its stuttering campaign. It was a swashbuckling unbeaten 90 from A.B. de Villiers which made the difference, and the franchisee will need the South African to deliver the goods once more.

 

Kohli looked well set on 30 against DD, before falling to a stunning Trent Boult catch. CSK will be well aware of the threat that Kohli poses.

De Villiers, perhaps in an effort to ease the pressure on his less experienced team-mates, played down the significance of the match. “I won't say it's the highlight of the season, or the final, or anything like that. We’re just taking it one game at a time,” de Villiers said.

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The South African explained that a victory over CSK would come as a big boost to RCB. “Having won two out of five matches, we are in a spot of bother. CSK have been playing well, and we’ve gained momentum from our win in the last game. Hopefully, we can carry that momentum forward,” he said.

If RCB has been heavily reliant on de Villiers and Kohli, CSK also has a collection of match-winners at its disposal. Four different players — Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Sam Billings and Dwayne Bravo — have received the ‘Man-of-the-match’ award so far.

And of course, the ace in the pack — Dhoni — can be pulled out any moment to make the opponent fold.