Preview: The MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings will look to get back to winning ways when they face Rajasthan Royals on Friday at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune. This match would see CSK turning out in their new 'home' Pune for the first time this season after they had to be shunted out following political unrest over the Cauvery water-sharing issue in Chennai.
Chennai are fourth on the points table, a place above Rajasthan, having won two of the three matches they have played so far, while Rajasthan have played a game more for the same number of wins. Chennai were unlucky to have lost their last match by a whisker to Kings XI Punjab in Mohali, despite a stellar knock from MS Dhoni, while the Royals suffered a comprehensive defeat at home at the hands of Kolkata Knight Riders in their previous match. The Royals, therefore, would be looking to put their house back in order.
Chennai and Rajasthan were the two finalists of the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008, and both have returned to the league after serving two-year bans following the 2013 spot-fixing scandal. These two teams will face each other for the first time in the ongoing edition.
Rajasthan had started their IPL 2018 campaign on a poor note, being hammered by Sunrisers Hyderabad by nine wickets. They, however, gained momentum and registered two back-to-back wins against Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Later, Kolkata outclassed them by seven wickets.
With 185 runs from four games, Sanju Samson has been the most impressive batsman for Rajasthan while skipper Ajinkya Rahane has amassed 130 runs.
Rajasthan's bowlers — K Gowtham and Ben Laughlin — have performed well while leggie Shreyas Gopal has also been economical.
However, all-rounder Ben Stokes, who was bought for a whopping Rs 12.5 crore, has failed to fire till now.
On the other hand, two-time champions Chennai had had a great start to their campaign with back-to-back wins against defending champions Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders.
It was Dwayne Bravo's 30-ball 68 against Mumbai which helped Chennai register their first win and later, Sam Billings' 23-ball 56 guided them home against KKR in a high-scoring match. In their last match against Kings XI Punjab, Ambati Rayudu (49) and Dhoni (79) almost handed Chennai a hat-trick of wins but they fell short by four runs.
In the bowling department, Shane Watson has been impressive with five wickets from three games while Shardul Thakur and Imran Tahir have three wickets each from as many games.
Here's all you need to know about catching Friday's action live:
When and where will the CSK vs RR, IPL 2018 match be played?
Chennai Super Kings host Rajasthan Royals on 20 April at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.
Where do I watch the CSK vs RR clash live?
The match will be broadcast live on television by Star Sports. It will be available on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi HD, Star Sports 1 Select HD.
What time will live coverage of the match start?
The live broadcast of the match will start at 8 pm.
Where can you follow the matches online?
The match will be streamed online on Hotstar. You can also follow the live scores and updates here.
With IANS inputs