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CSK vs RCB, IPL 2024: 5 key player battles for star-studded opener as Faf, Kohli and co. face stern Super Kings test

CSK vs RCB, IPL 2024: Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Ravindra Jadeja will be some of the key players as CSK meet RCB in the opener

As IPL 2024 gears up for its inaugural match on Friday, March 22, anticipation is high for the clash between arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bengaluru at the iconic Chepauk Stadium. However, the news of MS Dhoni relinquishing the captaincy of the Men in Yellow to Ruturaj Gaikwad sent shockwaves through the CSK fanbase on Thursday. In a surprising move, the franchise announced Dhoni’s decision to hand over the reins to Gaikwad just before the start of the season.

Virat Kohli (L), Ravindra Jadeja (C), and Glenn Maxwell will be some of the key players set to take the field in the IPL 2024 opener(PTI/IPL)

Despite the leadership change, CSK remains focused on securing a winning start to their title defence against a formidable RCB side. Led by Faf du Plessis, the Royal Challengers will be buoyed by their women’s team’s recent triumph in the Women’s Premier League final against Delhi Capitals. With a batting lineup boasting the likes of Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, and Cameron Green, RCB poses a formidable challenge to the defending champions.

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Also read Where will Virat Kohli bat, Cameron Green’s new role with new team: RCB’s likely XI vs CSK

Ahead of the star-studded clash, let’s take a look at some of the key player battles:

Virat Kohli vs Deepak Chahar

With 73 IPL matches under his belt, Chahar has earned a reputation as a dangerous bowler in the Powerplay, particularly in conditions conducive to swing bowling. His ability to move the ball both ways can spell trouble for even the most seasoned batters, including Virat Kohli. Both, however, are returning to competitive action after a significant period.

While Chahar last played during India’s T20I against Australia in December last year, Kohli’s appearance in the T20I series against Afghanistan in January 2024 was his last. The RCB batter will be keen to make his mark after the relatively inactive period; however, despite the lack of recent game time, Kohli’s stature as one of the finest batsmen in the game remains unquestionable.

Ruturaj Gaikwad vs Mohammed Siraj

Donning the captaincy role, Gaikwad will kickstart CSK’s new era when he leads the side against the RCB at the Chepauk Stadium. Captaincy, however, does funny things. Gaikwad was CSK’s most prolific batter last year, and he would be aiming to repeat another stellar season with the bat, but the pressure of captaincy will keep lurking – particularly in the first few matches. And Mohammed Siraj, India’s seasoned pacer, will look to exploit that when both sides meet on Friday.

Glenn Maxwell vs Ravindra Jadeja

Maxwell has struggled against Jadeja in the past, with the left-arm spinner dismissing him on 7 occasions across all T20s so far. However, it isn’t as if the RCB batter has been completely at sea against Jadeja; he has scored 93 runs against the CSK star at an impressive strike rate of 143.07, which eludes to a promising contest as the two titans of their respective franchises clash at the Chepauk.

Faf du Plessis vs Moeen Ali

Once a vital cog in CSK’s lineup, Faf will look to spoil the side’s party when he returns to Chepauk as RCB captain on Friday. But he would be wary against CSK’s star all-rounder Moeen Ali, who has a knack of getting early wickets in his spell. In fact, Ali has dismissed him twice in their last three matches, while Faf has only scored 34 runs off the 31 balls he faced against the England spinner. Of course, it remains to be seen whether Moeen will be among the four overseas players in the CSK lineup.

Rachin Ravindra vs Alzarri Joseph

Ravindra is set to make his maiden appearance in the IPL on Friday, and RCB will look to attack him with their newest acquisition, Alzarri Joseph. The West Indian has a knack of getting breakthroughs and even though he has proved expensive in his IPL stint so far, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if RCB trust him for their first match of the season.


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