After being shot out for 92 against Kolkata Knight Riders, a lot is riding on Royal Challengers Bangalore’s explosive batting lineup when it takes on Chennai Super Kings in Sharjah on Friday.
Last year, the venue saw some of the highest scores scored in the tournament with its short boundaries, and the RCB batsmen will hope to find their groove in what could be helpful batting conditions.
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On Wednesday, Virat Kohli had an extended net session, and coach Mike Hesson sounded confident that the skipper had found his rhythm back.
With AB de Villiers not donning the gloves, it will be interesting to see if RCB tries Kerala wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammed Azharuddeen, who is known for his power-hitting, to give more depth to its lineup.
Eyeing playoff berth
Meanwhile, CSK will be high on confidence following its 20-run win over defending champion Mumbai Indians, especially after being reduced to 24/4 batting first on Sunday.
But last year, the three-time champion struggled in Sharjah, losing its three matches.
All-rounder Sam Curran will be available for Friday’s game after completing his quarantine and could give the team an option, should it choose to swap him for Moeen Ali.
Another piece of good news is that both Ambati Rayudu, who took a blow on his arm and Deepak Chahar, who suffered cramps against MI, are fit and available.
With a settled lineup, CSK will hope to get its seventh win of the season and take one step closer to the playoff.