IPL 2024 Curtain Raiser: Chennai Super Kings Battle Royal Challengers Bengaluru in Season Opener

The IPL 2024 season is set to kick off in grand style as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) welcome their rivals, the Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB), to the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Chennai, on a pleasant Friday evening. Cricket enthusiasts are eager with anticipation as March 21 marks the start of another thrilling chapter in the Indian Premier League saga.

A significant leadership change has emerged from the CSK camp, where Ruturaj Gaikwad takes over the reins from the legendary MS Dhoni just a day before the inaugural match, signaling a new era for the Men in Yellow. Meanwhile, RCB strides into this encounter with their confidence bolstered by the recent triumph of their women’s counterpart in the WPL 2024. The spotlight will also be on RCB’s linchpin, Virat Kohli, as he returns to competitive cricket after a noticeable hiatus.

History tilts in favor of the Chennai-based franchise, having dominated the head-to-head encounters with four victories out of the last five IPL fixtures against RCB. Furthermore, their stronghold over RCB at the Chidambaram Stadium remains unbreached since 2008, a streak the home team would be determined to uphold.

The action starts on Friday, March 22 at 8:00 PM IST, with the toss scheduled at 7:30 PM. Fans from all over can tune in to the live broadcast on Star Sports or stream it on the JioCinema Website and App to catch every moment of the riveting clash.

For fantasy cricket enthusiasts, crafting the ideal Dream11 team for this match could be quite strategic, given the star-studded rosters. MS Dhoni is set to serve as the wicketkeeper, supported by a powerful batting lineup featuring Virat Kohli, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ajinkya Rahane, and Faf du Plessis. The all-rounder slots bring their own flair with the likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Glenn Maxwell, and a toss-up between Rachin Ravindra and Cameron Green.

On the bowling front, Mohammed Siraj, Deepak Chahar, and Maheesh Theekshana are expected to lead the charge with their varied abilities to disrupt the batting order of any opposition.

Highlighting some of the marquee players, Faf du Plessis, skipper of Royal Challengers Bengaluru, comes off from a stellar performance in the previous season, clinching the title of RCB’s leading run-getter in IPL 2023 with 730 runs across 14 innings, including eight fifties. His remarkable 62 off just 33 balls in the last encounter against CSK in IPL 2023 is still fresh in the fans’ memories.

Ruturaj Gaikwad, the new captain of Chennai Super Kings, is yet another player to watch out for. Coming off a splendid run in IPL 2023, where he amassed 590 runs in 15 innings and led the fielding charts with 17 catches, Gaikwad aims to prove his captaincy mettle from the get-go.

As for the likely combinations to feature for both teams, CSK’s probable playing XI includes Ruturaj Gaikwad (c), Rachin Ravindra, Ajinkya Rahane, Moeen Ali, Daryl Mitchell, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni (wk), Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, and Maheesh Theekshana. RCB could field Faf du Plessis (c), Virat Kohli, Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, Cameron Green, Mahipal Lomror, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Alzarri Joseph, Mayank Dagar, Akash Deep, and Mohammed Siraj.

With rivalries set to be reignited and new heroes poised to emerge, the first clash of IPL 2024 is not just a battle for supremacy but a celebration of cricket’s enduring charm and the promise of electrifying performances that will set the tone for the rest of the season.

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