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IPL 2024, RCB vs CSK: Key match ups to look forward to in virtual knock out

IPL 2024, RCB vs CSK: Clash between RCB and CSK will decide the final team to qualify for playoffs. Key match ups to look forward to in virtual knock out.

IPL 2024: RCB vs CSK would decide the 4th team to qualify for Playoffs | (Images_BCCI/ IPLT20)
IPL 2024: RCB vs CSK would decide the 4th to play Playoffs (Images: BCCI/ IPLT20)

Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) will face Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in their last league clash in IPL 2024 on May 18 at their home ground, M Chinnaswamy Stadium. This match is a virtual knockout and a ticket to the play-offs. Chennai, who have 14 points, will qualify for play-offs with 16 points if they win the clash. Bengaluru, who have 12 points, must win with a slightly higher margin to not only equal points with Chennai but also beat them on net run-rate. 


Currently, Chennai have a slightly better net run-rate with 0.528, while Bengaluru are at 0.387. If Chennai lose, but they keep the margin of loss negligible, they can still qualify. Two other teams – Delhi Capitals (DC) and Lucknow Super Giants (LSG)  – can be on 14 points each, but their net run-rate is extremely poor compared to Bengaluru and Chennai to qualify.  


So, a lot is at stake in the Bengaluru vs Chennai clash. The two teams share a history where there have been intense clashes, nail-biting finishes and also great camaraderie both on and off the field. Once, these two teams were helmed by Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, both self-proclaimed fans of each other.



So, what are the key match-ups to look forward to in this virtual knockout clash?


Ruturaj Gaikwad vs Mohammed Siraj

Gaikwad is leading from the front, and is among the highest run-getters in IPL 2024 so far. He anchored the innings, played the aggressor’s role, and even finished off chases. A lot rests on Gaikwad to lead the Chennai batting line-up. He might be slightly susceptible to the new ball early on, and Mohammed Siraj who can swing the ball away from the right-hander will be the best match-up for him. 


Ruturaj Gaikwad plays the ball on merit and plays closer to his body. Hence, it would be interesting to see if Siraj could induce a false stroke off his outswingers from the Chennai captain. Gaikwad holds an advantage against Siraj, scoring 63 runs out of 47 balls bowled by the Bengaluru pacer and getting dismissed only once, striking at 134. But with Siraj finally finding returning to rhythm, it might be a different story this time around. 


IPL 2024, PBKS vs RCB_ Virat Kohli scored 92 off 47 against Punjab kings  _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_IPLT20)
Virat Kohli is highest run-scorer in IPL 2024 as of now (Images: ©BCCI/IPLT20)
Virat Kohli vs CSK  

Virat Kohli has scored the second-most runs (1006) against Chennai after Shikhar Dhawan (1057) in IPL. Kohli also reserves his best for Chennai, and has played a few blinders against them. He has 9 fifties in 32 matches against the Super Kings. With a play-off berth at stake, opener Kohli will go all guns blazing against them, and could take heavy toll on the new-ball bowlers - Tushar Deshpande and Simarjeet Singh. 


But Chennai would throw a gamble of bowling a spinner Maheesh Theekshana or Ravindra Jadeja against Kohli as the batter is known to be susceptible to spin bowling early on. He has a poor strike rate against them compared to pacers in IPL at least. Besides, Dhoni and his thinktank could have a few plans ready to see the back of Kohli early. 



Shivam Dube vs Glenn Maxwell 

Shivam Dube has been so devastating against spin in IPL 2024 that he earned a call up to the India’s World T20 squad. Dube usually comes in the middle-overs where he hits sixes off spinners for fun. However, Dube’s strength could turn out to be his end as well. Hence, an off-break bowler who could turn the ball away from the southpaw is the biggest weapon to neutralise him. 


The best player to do that is all-rounder Glenn Maxwell as he has the knack of picking up crucial wickets or breaking stands. With Will Jacks back home for international duties, Maxwell is likely to play. He will be thrown in deep waters straight away to counter the threat of Dube. 


IPL 2024, RCB vs SRH_ Dinesh Karthik scored 83 off 35 against SRH _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_IPLT20)
Dinesh Karthik striking ball at 194 in IPL 2024 (Images: ©BCCI/IPLT20)
Dinesh Karthik vs spinners

Dinesh Karthik has been enjoying his role as the master finisher. He has already done it a few times in IPL 2024. He does not look to add power to his shots to get the big hits. But he is an extremely clever batter who looks to exploit the gaps in the field with his innovative shot-making. In the clash against Mumbai, DK repeatedly played behind the keeper to collect easy fours with a few innovative shots. 


But this shot-making would be difficult against spinners who take off all the pace of the ball. In that case, DK might just struggle to get the big hits going against the Chennai spinners. But DK is a veteran in this format. He might attempt the reverse sweep or other innovative shots to collect runs against spinners to foil the opposition’s plans. 


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