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Indian T20 League 2020: Chennai aim to make it two wins in two, as they face Rajasthan next

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The iconic Sharjah will play host to the 4th match of the 2020 Indian T20 League season between Rajasthan and the Chennai. Rajasthan will be playing their first match of the new campaign while Chennai are coming off a huge win over defending champions Mumbai.

The two teams are on the opposite ends of the experience spectrum. While Chennai have the oldest starting XI in the league, Rajasthan have one of the youngest. The three-time champions are filled with experience to the brim while only a couple, or at best three players out of the seven of Rajasthan’s Indian contingent can claim to have played an international T20.

But with youth comes courage. Rajasthan’s batting core of Riyan Parag, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Sanju Samson will be up for the challenge and will want to take the game to Chennai’s seasoned veterans.

Watson’s wonderful record in the desert

Shane Watson loves playing at the Sharjah.

The 39-year-old has batted 19 times at the iconic ground and has scored 586 runs at an average of 32.55. Here are Watson’s favourite hunting grounds.

Stadium

Innings

Runs

Average

Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

33

969

37.26

Dubai Sports City Stadium, Dubai

21

608

33.77

Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium, Sharjah

19

586

32.55

Watson has played only once at Sharjah in the Indian T20 League back when he was with the Rajasthan in 2014. The Australian scored 50 off 28 balls against Punjab and the veteran will be hoping for a repeat performance on Tuesday.

Unadkat’s underwhelming record

Rajasthan broke the bank to sign Jaydev Unadkat but the pacer has so far been extremely underwhelming for the side.

Unadkat has played 26 matches in the last two campaigns and picked up just 21 wickets. He also has a terrible economy rate of 10.08, the worst of any bowler with over 500 balls bowled and has also given away 884 runs in the past two seasons, the most by any bowler in that span.

At the death, Unadkat’s performances dip further, bowling at an economy of 11.82, also the worst among all bowlers with at least 180 balls during the final overs.

While he’s never been an economical bowler, Unadkat had a knack of picking plenty of wickets but with those dried up, the 28-year-old is nothing more than a liability at this point for Rajasthan.  

Players to watch

Rajasthan – Steve Smith

Australian skipper has a decent record in the Indian T20 League but the team would be expecting more from the stellar batsman than he has delivered so far. In his maiden campaign with the Rajasthan, Smith scored 319 runs in 12 matches at a modest strike rate of 116 and a good average of 39.87. With Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler sidelined, Smith will not only have to lead his side in the field but also lead them by example with the bat if Rajasthan have any hopes of causing an upset against Chennai.

Chennai -Ambati Rayudu

Chennai were in a huge spot of bother against Mumbai at 6/2 and with Suresh Raina missing, the team needed another one of it’s experienced stars to anchor the innings for the side. Up-stepped veteran batsman Ambati Rayudu smashing 71 off 48 balls to guide his side to a victory. Rayudu will have a huge role this season in the absence of Raina and if the first match is anything to go by, the 34-year-old is more than up for the task.

Stats to watch out for:

3: Rajasthan's Ankit Rajpoot and Chennai's Deepak Chahar are both just three wickets away from reaching 100 scalps in T20s.

5: Chennai all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has dismissed Steve Smith five times in the Indian T20 League. No other bowler has dismissed the Australian more times.

5: MS Dhoni needs just five more sixes to complete 300 in T20s. Among Indian batsmen, only Rohit Sharma (361) and Suresh Raina (311) have managed more than the former Indian skipper.

1000: Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu are both closing in on 1000 runs for Chennai. The Australian needs 43 while Rayudu needs 45 to reach the mark.

Writer’s pick:

Rajasthan will be without Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler, two of the four in their famed foreign quartet. Chennai are at full-strength and are coming off an impressive win over Mumbai. It’s hard to see how the Royals can thwart Chennai’s batsmen or their bowlers and hence, expect CHE add another to the wins column.

Think you know more? We have a fantasy game lined up for you.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Arun Sankar

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