The last three games in Abu Dhabi have gone in favour of the chasing team and hence Chennai Super Kings took the opportunity in opting to bat first at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Monday against Rajasthan Royals.
"We will bat first. It is a used wicket and chances are it may slow down as the game progresses. He won't be available for the next few games. Injuries are not only our concern but the other franchises as well, that's because the players have not played for a long time. You spoke about it and that's how I got to know. It's just a number. I have been fortunate to have played so many games. We have couple of changes - Hazlewood and Chawla in," said Dhoni.
Rajasthan made just one change - Ankit Rajpoot in for Jaydev Unadkat.
"He (Stokes) has put up okay fortunately, good to go tonight. The equation is pretty simple for us we need to keep winning, hopefully we can start tonight. We have to bowl first, restrict them and chase it down. We will see how we go (about his batting position). I found a bit of rhythm the other day which was nice and hopefully can carry on. We have got one change - Rajpoot comes in for Unadkat," said Smith.
Rajasthan Royals (Playing XI): Robin Uthappa, Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson(w), Steven Smith(c), Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Ankit Rajpoot, Kartik Tyagi
CSK and the Royals both stand at the bottom of the table with three wins and six defeats in the nine games they have played so far in the tournament, with the two teams only separated by net run rate. A defeat for either side could only worsen their chances of making it to the playoffs.