CSK vs RR in IPL 2019 will be broadcast on Sunday (March 31) from 8:00 PM onwards. CSK vs RR live streaming will be available on Hotstar and Jio TV. You can follow all the ball-by-ball updates and live commentary with analysis on our live blog.
Defending champions Chennai Super Kings began their title defence with convincing wins against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals. On Sunday (March 31) evening, they will look to make it three out of three against Rajasthan Royals. All focus though will be on the MA Chidambaram surface. In the opener, a slow track saw them skittle out Virat Kohli’s RCB for 70 before themselves reaching the target in the 18th over on a rank turner. Both MS Dhoni and Kohli had criticized the surface and it remains to be seen how it plays this time around. Veterans Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir and Dwayne Bravo have been particularly impressive and against Rajasthan, captain Dhoni will once again turn to them with the hope of an encore.
While it is still early days in the competition, CSK will be concerned about their batsmen. Only the likes of Shane Watson, Suresh Raina and Dhoni exuded any confidence against the Delhi Capitals while most looked off-colour in the first game. CSK is yet to call upon the services of a fourth overseas player and the inconsistency in batting could provide South African captain Faf du Plessis, who is yet to get a look in, with a chance to force his way back into the scheme of things. The visiting Royals’ fortunes though has been far from similar – they lost both their games before this – first against the Kings XI Punjab, before a David Warner storm blew them away in Hyderabad after Sanju Samson’s fantastic century.
Rajasthan captain Ajinkya Rahane will be happy with their batting performances, but desperately needs the bowlers to step up. The likes of Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat, Shreyas Gopal and Krishnappa Gowtham are likely to fancy the CSK batting, especially after the thumping they took in their last outing. It will be a contest between Rajasthan's batting line-up comprising Rahane, Jos Buttler, Steve Smith, Ben Stokes and Samson versus a spin-heavy CSK bowling, but how crucial a role will the pitch play is likely to decide the outcome of the encounter.
Players to Watch Out For
Shane Watson: After scoring a bagful of runs in the recently concluded Pakistan Super League, the former Australian all-rounder has found the going tougher than he would have liked in India. After a duck in the first game at home, Watson helped CSK on the way to a win against Delhi when he top-scored for them with 44. At the top of the order, Watson’s influence can be the difference between a winning score and a shaky batting performance by the three-time champions.
Steve Smith: Back in the mix of things after a year-long break, Smith will be keen to get his act going, especially given how Warner has begun. The experienced batsman is not only due for a big one but also will be crucial in dealing with the in-form bowlers in Tahir, Harbhajan and Bravo. Smith’s only had one go in two games so far and the test against CSK is just the kind of thing that might help him find his touch.