Talk of a battle between two in-form sides and this is it! Both Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals had a good last week and the momentum is with both the sides.
T20 cricket is all about momentum and when they take on each other on a sultry Wednesday afternoon at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, it will really be a battle of attrition.
"The momentum is definitely with us and we have to make the most of it. The team that wins here comes close to sealing a top-four berth while the loser starts to slip. We will have to be cautious in our approach," CSK coach Stephen Fleming said.
There's another common factor between these two teams and that's their home record. Rajasthan Royals' first IPL triumph was based on their superb shows in Jaipur and they are doing the same this time around.
The Chennai Super Kings story follows a similar pattern as well and they have looked invincible at the MA Chidambaram Stadium so far. MS Dhoni has always maintains that the Chepauk conditions give them the upper-hand and it won't be any different on Wednesday.
Royals, despite their successes in Jaipur, haven't been the best travellers. But despite CSK's superb home record, this is one ground where they can put up a decent challenge.
The pitch affords a little bit of turn and the Royals skipper Shane Warne loves such conditions. The kind of attack they have, may just suit the Royals too.
Siddharth Trivedi likes to take the pace off the ball and the likes of Warne and Botha may just play an important factor in the game.
Botha has been pretty much the most outstanding player for Rajasthan Royals so far. The world knows that he is a decent bowler in limited-overs cricket, but he has been brilliant with the bat at the top of the order too. Botha, along with Rahul Dravid, are the anchors of this team and CSK will look to get these two out pretty early.
"Botha's performances haven't been a surprise for me. He is a very good bowler and a gutsy batsman. A wonderful acquisition for Shane I would say," Fleming said. The coach believes CSK have the depth in their spin attack to counter the Royals.
Bollinger vs Dravid: Bollinger is the spearhead of the CSK attack and he is coming into his own with every game. The burly Aussie will look to take a few quick wickets upfront to put Rajasthan Royals under pressure and it will be on Rahul Dravid to ensure that nothing of that sort happens. Dravid, too, has been in good form and he will try to build a solid platform for the big-hitters to follow in the Royals line-up
Dhoni vs Warne: Shane Warne, unlike some of the other spinners, is only coming on in the middle of the innings and more often than not, M S Dhoni is the man who is out in the middle then. Warne, with his guile, can be a handful for Dhoni but the Indian captain, too, will be up for it. He knows that if he wins this personal battle, it will set it up nicely for his team to turn the tables on Rajasthan.
Badrinath vs Menaria: Both are stars in the domestic circuit and have given good account of themselves so far. The selection for the West Indies ODI tour is coming up and both know that a couple of good performances can bring them close to selection. Badri and Menaria are similar sort of players in the middle-order and one can be rest assured they will try to outshine each other, making it a spicy contest.
Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C), Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, S Badrinath, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shadab Jakati, Michael Hussey, Albie Morkel, Ben Hilfenhaus, Doug Bollinger, G Bailey, Tim Southee, F du Plessis, Suraj Randiv, Nuwan Kulasekara, Joginder Sharma, Yo Mahesh, A Mukund, Wriddhiman Saha, Scott Styris, Sudeep Tyagi, K Vasudevadas, G Vignesh.
Rajasthan Royals: Shane Warne (C), Swapnil Asnodkar, Stuart Binny, Johan Botha, Deepak Chahar, Ankeet Chavan, Aakash Chopra, Aditya Dole, Nayan Doshi, Rahul Dravid, Samad Fallah, Faiz Fazal, Ashok Menaria, Sumit Narwal, Jacob Oram, Pankaj Singh, Amit Paunikar, Ajinkya Rahane, Abhishek Raut, Dinesh Salunkhe, Pinal Shah, Amit Singh, Shaun Tait, Ross Taylor, Siddharth Trivedi, Shane Watson and Dishant Harendra Yagnik.