Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals: Preview and Prediction

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MS Dhoni might be playing his last season in the IPL

Match 61 of the 2024 Indian Premier League season will witness the defending champions Chennai Super Kings taking on Rajasthan Royals at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday afternoon.

The first game of the Sunday double-header will feature two rivals who had battled in the first-ever IPL final and are currently fighting for a spot in the IPL 2024 playoffs. 

The Ruturaj Gaikwad-led yellow army has an added motivation to give MS Dhoni a perfect farewell as this could be his last season.  On the other hand, Rajasthan Royals are searching for their second IPL title and a victory here could help Sanju Samson’s side secure a top-two spot.

What has happened so far?

IPL 2024 is at the business end of the group stage and the tussle for the playoffs has peaked. Both Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings are currently sitting in the top four. RR occupies the second spot with 16 points from 11 games and a net run-rate of 0.476 whereas CSK is in fourth place with 12 points from as many games and a net run-rate of 0.491. 

Chennai Super Kings have won and lost six games each in the competition, and are coming off a 35-run defeat against Gujarat Titans. Chasing a target of 232 runs, they lost three early wickets before Daryl Mitchell and Moeen Ali smashed half-centuries but the dismissals of the pair meant CSK lost their way and the required rate went out of reach.

Rajasthan Royals have been victorious eight times in the season while losing only three times, including their defeat in the previous game against Delhi Capitals by 20 runs. Ravichandran Ashwin bowled a magnificent spell of 3 for 24 in four overs but the rest of the attack was hammered. Chasing a daunting target of 222 runs, Sanju Samson fought a lone battle with his innings of 86 runs off 46 deliveries but didn’t have much support. 

Head to Head Record

The rivalry between CSK and RR has been pretty tightly fought over the years. The two teams have crossed each other’s path 29 times in the IPL with the men in yellow winning 15 games and the Royals having the last say in 14 encounters. 

However, the recent record is tilted towards RR, who have won six of the previous clashes between the two. CSK will have their task cut out against their recent nemesis.

Key Players

Ruturaj Gaikwad (Chennai Super Kings): Ruturaj Gaikwad is one of CSK’s most important players. He plays as an anchor at the top of the order as others around him try to take more risks.

The CSK skipper is the second on the batting charts with 541 runs at an average of 54 and a strike rate of 147. Gaikwad has smashed one century and four half-centuries in the tournament. He remains a key figure in this game but he has a big challenge to face in Trent Boult, who has had his number.

Sanju Samson (Rajasthan Royals): Sanju Samson has been terrific for Rajasthan Royals and is having the best season of his IPL career. He has often held the batting unit together and has done it at a high strike rate in IPL 2024.

Sanju Samson’s brilliant form helped him find a place in the T20 World Cup team

Samson is fourth on the list of top run-scorers with 471 runs from 11 innings at a strike rate of 163 while averaging 67 and has registered five half-centuries in the season.

Team News from Both Camps

Matheesha Pathirana was ruled out of the tournament recently after suffering a hamstring injury whereas Mustafizur Rahman returned home for his international commitments. Deepak Chahar was also injured and is unlikely to play any further part in the tournament further making their pace battery a serious concern for the rest of the season.

Rajasthan Royals were forced to make changes in their previous game as Shimron Hetmyer and Dhruv Jurel had niggles. Barring any further trouble, the duo should be back for this game with Donovan Ferreira and Shubham Dubey making way.

Predicted XIs

Chennai Super Kings: Ruturaj Gaikwad ©, Rachin Ravindra, Ajinkya Rahane, Daryl Mitchell, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali, MS Dhoni (wk), Shardul Thakur, Tushar Deshpande, Richard Gleeson

Rajasthan Royals: Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson © (wk), Riyan Parag, Shimron Hetmyer, Rovman Powell, Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Avesh Khan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Sandeep Sharma


Both teams would be desperate to win this game with the playoff spots on the line. The two rivals have a very competitive head-to-head record and you can expect a close fight. 

CSK is playing at home where they have a formidable record but RR have won four of the last five encounters between the two teams. The Super Kings are playing at their fortress but the Royals have a stronger batting line-up and a better bowling attack.