Dhoni’s new role in IPL 2024 season opener, focus on Kohli’s return

RCB has not defeated CSK in Chennai since IPL 2008. Will this trend continue or will it end on Friday?
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Can RCB break Chennai’s troubles?

Only last month, Faf du Plessis played a tremendous innings to take Joburg Super Kings to the SA20 playoffs. And four months from now, he will be donning the yellow again for the Texas Super Kings and teaming up with coach Stephen Fleming. Their history goes back to 2011, when Chennai Super Kings first signed Du Plessis even before he had played international cricket for South Africa.

Dhoni’s new role

But for now, for the duration of this IPL, Du Plessis has shed his yellow second skin for the red and blue of Royal Challengers Bangalore. Once a crowd favorite in Chepauk, he will play his first match as RCB captain in Chennai on Friday. However, his counterpart will not be the man Du Plessis would have expected to go up against.

On the eve of the start of the IPL 2024 season, hours before the teams arrived for training, Du Plessis’ former opening partner Ruturaj Gaikwad was announced as the CSK captain, replacing MS Dhoni.

SEE ALSO : WPL 2024: Ruthless Delhi Capitals defeat Gujarat giants to enter second consecutive final

Gaikwad has a proud record to defend as the odds are stacked against RCB in Chennai. The last time they beat CSK at Chepauk was in the first IPL season in 2008, when Fleming was still a player. RCB have lost seven consecutive matches since then. In their most recent match in 2019, they were bowled out for 70 in 17.1 overs. RCB gave a tough challenge to CSK till the 18th over to Yuzvendra Chahal and Moeen Ali to win.

Chahal is now with Rajasthan Royals, while Moeen could go in against RCB on Friday with three other spinners – Mahesh Theekshana, Ravindra Jadeja and part-timer Rachin Ravindra in what could be another slow pitch. In contrast, RCB have no world-class spinners: their options are Mayank Dagar (left-arm fingerspin), Himanshu Sharma (mystery spin), Karn Sharma (legspin) and Swapnil Singh (left-arm fingerspin). , It seems as if RCB have put all their eggs in the batting basket for both their home and away matches this season.

Team News: Dhoni and Kohli return

Dhoni, 42, is set to return to action after almost a year after he underwent knee surgery following the last IPL season. CSK’s designated spin-hitter Shivam Dubey is also fit after being ruled out of the Ranji Trophy knockouts due to injury. However, they will be without their death overs specialist, Sri Lankan slinger Mathisha Pathirana, who will miss the early stages of IPL 2024 due to a hamstring injury.

Virat Kohli will also return to competitive cricket for RCB after a break of two months. They have played only two T20 matches since the last IPL, against Afghanistan in January and this season will serve as their runway for the 2024 T20 World Cup in June. Kohli displayed an uncharacteristically aggressive approach at the start of those two innings against Afghanistan; Will he bat like this for RCB also?

Toss and Impact Player Strategy

Chennai Super Kings

Given that Dubey is working on recovering from injury, CSK could play him as the lone batsman and choose either Mukesh Chaudhary or Tushar Deshpande, the leading wicket-taker last season, while bowling. .

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

Probable ball-first XI: 1 Ruturaj Gaikwad (captain), 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 Mahesh Dikshana, 11 Mukesh Chaudhary/Tushar Deshpande

Royal Challengers Bangalore

If RCB bats first, then one of Anuj Rawat, Mahipal Lomror or Suyash Prabhudesai can be chosen to lengthen their batting, who can be replaced by a spinner – Himanshu or Karn – in the second innings. or vice versa.

Probable batting-first XI: 1 Faf du Plessis (captain), 2 Virat Kohli, 3 Rajat Patidar, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Cameron Green, 6 Anuj Rawat/Mahipal Lomror/Suyyash Prabhudesai, 7 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 8 Alzarri Joseph , 9 Mayank Dagar, 10 Akash Deep/Vishakh Vijaykumar, 11 Mohammed Siraj


Probable bowling-1st XI: 1 Faf du Plessis (captain), 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/Vaishakh Vijaykumar, 10 Himanshu Sharma/Karan Sharma, 11 Mohammed Siraj

statistics matter

Jadeja performed brilliantly in the match against Glenn Maxwell. The left-arm finger spinner has dismissed Maxwell six times in the IPL, giving away 70 runs in 51 balls. No other bowler in the league has dismissed Maxwell so many times.

Gaikwad has a favorable record against both Alzarri Joseph (47 off 25 balls, one out) and Lockie Ferguson (56 off 29 balls, no out) in the IPL.

Kohli (985) is 73 runs away from surpassing Shikhar Dhawan (1057) as the highest run scorer against CSK in the IPL. However, Kohli’s record against spin in Chennai in the powerplay is not impressive: 15 runs and two outs from 23 balls.

RCB spinners Dagar and Himanshu have jointly taken one wicket in four matches in the IPL.

pitch and conditions

The opener of IPL 2024 will be played on the center wicket of Chepauk, which is traditionally spin-friendly. This is different from the sharp turner that was used in the Ranji Trophy match between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka last month.


“I had the privilege of working with Rachin on the New Zealand team in the UK last year. And seeing him work then, I had no doubt that he would fit in well. He is very eager to learn. “Very early in his international career. But with each hurdle, he has overcome very well.”
CSK coach Stephen Fleming on Rachin Ravindra

“He’s a proven international performer and a proven IPL performer. He’s got pace and bounce at a good release height. There’s a lot to like there and the same is true for our other overseas fast bowlers. Faf Alzarri has been well received. So, he was a prime target for us in the auction.”
RCB Director of Cricket Mo Bobt on Alzarri Joseph

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