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  • Date: Friday March 22 – 14:00 GMT 
  • Location: Chennai, India
  • Teams: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB)

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IPL 2024 gets underway with CSK taking on RCB

Faf du Plessis, the seasoned IPL campaigner, finds himself in the midst of a colourful journey in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 season. Just last month, he dazzled for Joburg Super Kings, propelling them into the SA20 playoffs. However, in four months’ time, he will don the yellow jersey once again, this time for Texas Super Kings, reuniting with his longtime mentor, coach Stephen Fleming. Their association traces back to 2011 when Chennai Super Kings first inked du Plessis, even before his international debut for South Africa.

But as the IPL fervour grips the nation, du Plessis has traded his iconic yellow for the vibrant hues of Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB). Leading the charge for RCB as their captain, he’s set to make his debut in this new role in the heart of Chennai, his erstwhile fortress, this Friday. However, the script takes an unexpected turn as his former opening partner, Ruturaj Gaikwad, is thrust into the limelight as CSK’s new skipper, replacing the legendary MS Dhoni, just hours before the season opener.

Gaikwad shoulders the responsibility with a proud record to defend, especially against RCB, who have historically struggled at Chepauk against CSK. The odds are stacked against RCB, given their dismal track record at the venue. The last time they clinched victory against CSK on this turf dates back to the inaugural IPL season in 2008 when Stephen Fleming was still a player. Since then, RCB has endured seven consecutive defeats, including a humiliating loss in 2019 when they were bundled out for a paltry 70 runs.

As both teams gear up for the clash, the spotlight shines on the spin department, pivotal on Chepauk’s slow and turning tracks. CSK boasts a plethora of spin options, with the likes of Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja, Maheesh Theekshana, and Rachin Ravindra in their arsenal. In contrast, RCB finds themselves lacking in world-class spinners, banking on the prowess of Mayank Dagar, Himanshu Sharma, Karn Sharma, and Swapnil Singh.

RCB’s strategy seems clear – to bank on their batting firepower to outshine opponents, regardless of the conditions. It’s a risky gamble, especially in venues like Chepauk, where spinners traditionally dominate proceedings.

As du Plessis leads RCB into the lion’s den against CSK, the stage is set for a riveting encounter, with narratives intertwining and strategic battles unfolding in the cauldron of IPL 2024.

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Chennai Super Kings

Dhoni, 42, is set to return to action after nearly a year, after undergoing knee surgery after the 2023 IPL season. CSK’s designated spin-hitter Shivam Dube is also fit to play after injury ruled him out of the Ranji Trophy knockouts. However, they will be without Sri Lankan Matheesha Pathirana, who will miss the start of the IPL season with a hamstring injury.

With Dube working his way back to full fitness, CSK might play only as a batter and pick one of Mukesh Choudhary or Tushar Deshpande, last season’s highest wicket-taker, to bowl.

Possible bat-first XI: 1 Ruturaj Gaikwad (capt), 2 Rachin Ravindra, 3 Ajinkya Rahane, 4 Moeen Ali, 5 Daryl Mitchell, 6 Shivam Dube, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 MS Dhoni (wk), 9 Shardul Thakur, 10 Deepak Chahar, 11 Maheesh Theekshana

Possible bowl-first XI: 1 Ruturaj Gaikwad (capt), 2 Rachin Ravindra, 3 Ajinkya Rahane, 4 Moeen Ali, 5 Daryl Mitchell, 6 Ravindra Jadeja, 7 MS Dhoni (wk), 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 Deepak Chahar, 10 Maheesh Theekshana, 11 Mukesh Choudhary/Tushar Deshpande

Royal Challengers Bengaluru

Virat Kohli make his return to competitive cricket after a two-month break. He has played only two T20 games – against Afghanistan in January – since the 20923 IPL season and he will be using the 2024 IPL campaign to play himself into peak condition for the T20 World Cup in June. Kohli displayed an uncharacteristically aggressive style early on in those two innings against Afghanistan. The question is, will he employ the same strategy when batting for RCB?

One of Anuj Rawat, Mahipal Lomror or Suyash Prabhudessai could be selected to give  RCB greater batting options if they bat first, to be replaced by a spinner – Himanshu or Karn – in the second innings. Or vice versa.

Possible bat-first XI: 1 Faf du Plessis (capt), 2 Virat Kohli, 3 Rajat Patidar, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Cameron Green, 6 Anuj Rawat/Mahipal Lomror/Suyash Prabhudessai, 7 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 8 Alzarri Joseph, 9 Mayank Dagar, 10 Akash Deep/Vyshak Vijaykumar, 11 Mohammed Siraj

Possible bowl-first XI: 1 Faf du Plessis (capt), 2 Virat Kohli, 3 Rajat Patidar, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Cameron Green, 6 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 7 Alzarri Joseph, 8 Mayank Dagar, 9 Akash Deep/Vyshak Vijaykumar, 10 Himanshu Sharma/Karn Sharma, 11 Mohammed Siraj.

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Pitch and conditions

It is estimated that the pitch will be spin friendly, with the match being played on the centre wicket.


CSK, the defending champions have won 20 out of 31 matches played against RCB in IPL history. They are favourites to rack up another win. A victory in this match will give CSK a winning start to their campaign and potentially make them the most successful team in IPL history. We predict a win for CSK.

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Chris is a former athlete and a qualified PE teacher. He is a keen football fan, watching many matches at different levels throughout the season, and enjoys following many different sports. With betting and sports sites, he has a keen eye for detail and can to highlight positives and negatives for users. His experience in sport as a performer, teacher, writer and fan allows him to see things from many different perspectives. Editorial Promise