Rajasthan Royals (RR) are all set to play host to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in match no 15 on Sunday at their adopted 'home' in Ahmedabad. Both these sides have played excellent cricket in the Pepsi Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 so far and thus they have remained undefeated.
RR will look to bolster their line-up as Shane Watson is likely to be fit for the game. Steven Smith led the side in the former's absence and have managed to win all four matches they have played. On the other hand, CSK will not be making any alteration in their squad as MS Dhoni does not like to change the winning combination. Here are some of the key clashes ahead of the match on Sunday afternoon:
Brendon McCullum vs Tim Southee: McCullum have been terrific so far in this tournament. He has already added 150 runs to his name in just three matches and that has a century in it as well. Southee must be aware of the former's weak zone and would look to bowl a tight line and length. He should not allow McCullum to free his arms or else no boundaries in this world is big enough for this New Zealand star batsman.
Dwayne Smith vs Dhawal Kulkarni: Smith has been enjoying opening the batting with McCullum as the duo possesses the ability to tear apart any bowling attack in the world. Smith is a smart batsman and his timing is eloquent. Kulkarni has faired well and has bowled well to pick up wickets for his side. He should continue to curb the run rate as he has successfully done so far in this IPL.
Ajinkya Rahane vs Ashish Nehra: Rahane has kept his calm and has been the spearhead of the RR batting line-up. He likes to play his shots and he is a class act at the top of the order. Nehra on the other hand, has been bowling extremely well in the powerplay overs and his skipper is happy to throw the ball at him. Nehra has picked two man of the match awards in three matches in this IPL and he will continue to trouble the batsmen at the top of the order.
Deepak Hooda vs Ravichandran Ashwin: The latest find for RR has been Deepak Hooda who already established himself as one of the biggest hitters of the cricket ball in his side. If the bowler misses the length he will for sure, hit the ball out of the park. Ashiwn is an experienced customer and he too is a class act in this shorter format of the game.
Steve Smith vs Mohit Sharma: Smith has led his side from the front and the entire cricket fraternity is aware of what he can do with the bat. He is arguably one of the most difficult batsmen to bowl to currently. Mohit Sharma will not hold himself back and will instead bowl those back-of-the-hand slower balls that can fox any batsmen in this world.
It will be the clash of the titans for sure. RR will go in with the home advantage, while CSK will look to build on to their record against RR as they are the only team who have defeated RR 10 times out of 15 previous meetings.