Search for consistency continues as flawed CSK and Rajasthan Royals face off


Their contest could tell us if one of them could enjoy a dark-horse run deep into the IPL

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The Rajasthan Royals and the Chennai Super Kings finished IPL 2020 in the bottom two places, and while there have been indications to suggest this season might be different, both remain flawed teams.

The Super Kings bat deeper than possibly any other team in the competition, but none of their batters belong among the elite rung of T20 hitters, unless they were somehow able to turn back time. Their bowling is similar: a large array of useful options, but little in the way of raw pace or – unless Imran Tahir plays – genuine wicket-taking threat in the middle overs.

The Royals possess top-drawer T20 stars in Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson and Chris Morris, but quality is otherwise spread thin across their squad, particularly with Ben Stokes out for the season and Jofra Archer’s participation in doubt.

These drawbacks, however, can recede from view if form, conditions and luck align over the course of a season. There’s enough ability and nous within the Super Kings and Royals squads to be able to capitalise on such a turn of events. Their meeting on Monday, therefore, might give us an early indication as to whether one of them could go on to enjoy a dark-horse run deep into the tournament.

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