Short boundaries and a belter of a pitch. That’s the reputation of Sharjah Cricket Stadium. So Match 4 of the Indian Premier League is expected to provide a run feast, laced with a shower of sixes. That may come true. And it calls for changes in the strategy of teams. The Chennai Super Kings will perhaps look to accommodate a sixth bowling option. In the absence of Dwayne Bravo, they may want at Kedhar Jadhav and Shane Watson to share the burden if they are fit enough to bowl. MS Dhoni is never prone to make any drastic changes to the playing eleven, especially a winning combination. So the only change may be the induction of young Ruturaj Gaikwad.
Skipper Steve Smith’s availability is a significant boost to the Rajasthan Royals in their first match in IPL 13. But the inaugural IPL champions won’t be at full strength in the absence of the English duo, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes. So they will lean heavily on Tom Curran and David Miller, with Jofra Archer leading the attack. Watch out for the India Under-19 sensation Yashasvi Jaiswal, if he plays today. Don’t go away. The run-fest is on.
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Archer’s last flurry may have put it beyond Chennai’s reach
The last over blitz from Jofra Archer, which helped Rajasthan Royals post the highest ever T20 total at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, may have just put the match beyond the reach of Chennai Super Kings.
The old guard of Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis and of course Mahendra Singh Dhoni will certainly try make a match of it at this small ground. If they, however, reach 217, it will be the highest ever successful chase in the history of IPL.
The Sharjah wicket, in sharp contrast to the other two, remained a belter and Samson took full advantage of it and the hard ball – showing why the Royals coach preferred him at No.3. He had nine sixes on various sides of the park and an incredible strike rate of 231.25.
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