Preview, squads, pitch report, live stream

The defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) host the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the opening 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) match.

CSK were, this week, hit by the news that they will be without Proteas fast bowler Lungi Ngidi, who suffered a minor injury in the series against Sri Lanka and has been withdrawn by Cricket South Africa.

Ngidi may be absent but South Africa is well represented at CSK with Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis and leg spinner Imran Tahir expected to play prominent roles. Du Plessis returns to the ground where last year, a shoe was thrown at him.

The Royal Challengers will be focused on trying to win the franchise’s first IPL title to satisfy their large fan base, and they have the team to do it, which is what we say every year.

When you have AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli at your disposal expectations should be high even if the pair have taken part in nearly all of RCB’s unsuccessful seasons.

RCB picked up the Proteas wicketkeeper-basher Heinrich Klaasen but he is likely to play as a specialist batsman with Parthiv Patel set to be first choice wicketkeeper.

Both teams sport phenomenal top order power but for all RCB’s stars CSK appear to have both the best balance and the deeper batting, depending on what combination they favour. Even without Ngidi their bowling attack is also impressive.

MS Dhoni is expected to play a floating role in the CSK middle order but wherever he bats he will have quality company.

The Royal Challengers might have a pretty big ace up their sleeve in the form of Nathan Coulter-Nile who has been in fantastic form for Australia in white-ball cricket.

Pitch report

The first match of the IPL season takes place at India’s third oldest cricket stadium, the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Last year matches were moved away from Chepauk to Pune, due to crowd unrest related to a water dispute in the state.

The surface is expected to be great to bat on and teams batting first will want to get a minimum of 180 runs, but anything under 200 will be very gettable.

The spinners ability to slow the scoring rate will be key on this surface but the pitch in Chennai is unlikely to offer rampant turn at the outset

IPL squads

Chennai Super Kings full squad for IPL 2019: MS Dhoni (C), Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina, Kedar Jadhav, Dwayne Bravo, Mohit Sharma, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Karn Sharma, Shane Watson, Shardul Thakur, Ambati Rayudu, Murali Vijay, Harbhajan Singh, Faf Du Plessis, Sam Billings, Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar, Asif KM, N Jagadeesan, Monu Singh, Dhruv Shorey, Chaitanya Bishnoi, David Willey and Mitchell Santner.

Royal Challengers Bangalore full squad for IPL 2019:Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers, Parthiv Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kulwant Khejroliya, Washington Sundar, Pawan Negi, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Moeen Ali, Mohammed Siraj, Colin de Grandhomme, Shimron Hetmyer, Devdutt Padikkal, Shivam Dube, Heinrich Klassen, Gurkeerat Singh, Himmat Singh, Prayas Ray Barman, Mandeep Singh.

Match details

Start time: 16:30 (SAST)
Date: Saturday 23 March
Stream: Viewers in South Africa can only stream via DSTV Now

Highlights and other video will be made available on


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Publish date : 2019-03-21 11:26:15

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