Sharjah: It will not be easy for the Rajasthan Royals (RR) team to overcome Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in their first match as the team will not get the services of star all-rounder Ben Stokes from the start but the captain with a ‘concussion’ injury. Due to the recovery of Steve Smith, the team will have some encouragement ahead of the Indian Premier League match on Tuesday.
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The absence of Stokes would have affected the Royals’ campaign in the tournament, at least in the first stage, but Smith’s presence in the playing XI meant the team would not be able to kneel easily. Smith suffered a head injury during the net session on the England tour due to which he did not play in the ODI series. Now, under the rules, he has passed the ‘Kankashan’ (faint condition due to head injury) test and is ready to play.
In a statement issued by the franchise, Smith said, ‘I have been in Dubai for a few days. I rested and ran. Yesterday I ran a fast right-left which was part of the rules to return to the field. He said, ‘And today I bat on the net. I hope I have recovered from the injury and am ready to play tomorrow. Coach Andrew Macdonald also expressed happiness over the captain’s availability.
Jos Buttler will also be out of the first match as he has come separately with his family and will have to stay in Dubai for 36 hours in mandatory quarantine. The previous runners-up Chennai defeated defending champions Mumbai Indians by 5 wickets in the first match. The 3-time winner will have a heavy against the Royals as the Royals do not have Stokes and opener Butler is also out of the first match.
Stokes is in New Zealand to take care of his ailing father. His absence in the first phase of the league has upset the balance of the team. The performance of the Royals is largely on foreign players. In bowling, Jofra Archer of England and Andrew Tye of Australia will be responsible, then the responsibility of scoring runs will be on David Miller and Captain Smith of South Africa. The Indian players of the Royals have not been able to perform consistently. Sanju Samson, Robin Uthappa, Jaydev Unadkat, Varun Aaron have failed to live up to the expectations.
Chennai, on the other hand, are upbeat after a great performance in the first match. Sam Curren did not let the lack of Dwayne Bravo, who will be out for a few more matches due to injury, perform brilliantly. Ambati Rayudu and Faf du Plessi performed as expected. Piyush Chawla, the successful IPL bowler, proved the team management’s decision to buy him right. If Deepak Chahar does not play in the next match, then his option will be Shardul Thakur.
Rajasthan Royals Team: Steve Smith (captain), Jos Buttler, Robin Uthappa, Sanju Samson, Joffra Archer, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Manan Vohra, Karthik Tyagi, Akash Singh, Oshen Thomas, Andrew Tye, David Miller, Tom Curren, Anirudh Joshi, Shreyas Gopal, Ryan Parag , Varun Aaron, Shashank Singh, Anuj Rawat, Mahipal Lomror, Mayank Markandey.
Chennai Superkings Team: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Murali Vijay, Ambati Rayudu, Faf du Plessi, Shane Watson, Kedar Jadhav, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Lungi Angidi, Deepak Chahar, Piyush Chawla, Imran Tahir, Mitchell Santner, Josh Hazlewood, Shardul Thakur, Sam Curren, N Jagadishan, KM Asif, Monu Kumar, R Sai Kishore, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Karn Sharma.