CSK vs RCB Preview: Chennai host Bengaluru in IPL curtain-raiser

The opening fixture of the Indian Premier League 2024 (IPL 2024) will see Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) taking on each other on Friday, March 22 at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. In a major move ahead of their first game, CSK has announced a change in their leadership as Ruturaj Gaikwad has been handed over the captaincy duties by MS Dhoni.

Chennai will head into the tournament as defending champions having clinched the title last season after beating Gujarat Titans in a thrilling final. Gaikwad will have a herculean task to take CSK’s legacy forward and give an incredible send-off to Dhoni by leading them to their sixth title.

On the other hand, RCB will look to start the campaign on a winning note after failing to qualify for the playoffs in the previous season. The RCB men’s will take inspiration from their women’s team who recently clinched their maiden Women’s Premier League title in the second edition and ended the franchise’s trophy drought.

The Faf du Plessis-led side doesn’t have a good record against CSK having lost 20 matches out of the 31 played between the two teams. Their task will get even tougher in CSK’s ‘Anbuden’, however, RCB has enough stars in their team to turn the tide in their favor at any stage of the game.

Pitch Report

The pitch at the MA Chidambaram Stadium has traditionally aided spinners as they’re able to get good purchase out of the surface. The average first innings score in the last five games has been 160. Out of those five matches, three have been won by teams batting first while the highest target chased during the last season was 201 by Punjab Kings during a day game. The captain winning the toss will look to bat first as chasing under lights can get tricky in Chennai.

Probable Playing XI

Chennai Super Kings (CSK)

Rachin Ravindra, Ruturaj Gaikwad (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Daryl Mitchell, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Mukesh Kumar, Maheesh Theekshana.

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)

Faf du Plessis (C), Virat Kohli, Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, Cameron Green, Dinesh Karthik, Mayank Dagar/Anuj Rawat, Vijaykumar Vyashak, Alzarri Joseph, Mohammed Siraj, Karn Sharma