After winning their first-ever knockout game in the history of Indian Premier League (IPL), Delhi Capitals (DC) will now look to seal the deal by squaring off against the mighty Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Qualifier 2 game at DR. YS Rajasekhara Reddy Stadium in Vizag.
Delhi is coming into this game after a thrilling victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the same venue while Chennai lost the first Qualifier against Mumbai Indians (MI) and now has to defeat Delhi if they want to play in the final on May 12th.
This is the third time that these two teams will be playing each other. In the previous two instances, it was CSK who emerged as the victorious side in both the games.
Without any doubt, Delhi can be considered as the ultimate comeback team in this year’s edition. They have a tendency to turn an easy victory into a thrilling contest, which might go against them in this fixture. But there are a lot of positives too.
After all the failures in the previous editions, Delhi has surprised everyone with their amazing performances and is on course to play their ‘first-ever’ IPL final.
If we talk about Delhi’s performance this season, then we ought to say that they have been one of the most consistent sides this year and after emerging victorious in the knockout game against SRH, they have shown the world that they deserve to win a place in the finals of the tournament.
In the batting department, they have players such as skipper Shreyas Iyer, Shikhar Dhawan, and Rishabh Pant who are consistently proving their worth by producing match-winning knocks for their side. Dhawan and Iyer have been phenomenal this year. With five half-centuries to his name, the left-handed opening batsman has given a new life to Delhi’s batting line-up. However, he should not try to play shots as he did in the ‘eliminator’ and got out when the team needed him the most. So, he definitely needs to think about his approach to this crucial fixture.
With 503 runs in the tournament so far, Dhawan has been the standout performer for Delhi in the batting department. Meanwhile, Iyer has managed to lead the side with a great example. He has given stability to the batting line-up and his maturity to take the game deep has made him one of the standout performers this year.
Fortunately, the 18-year-old prodigy Prithvi Shaw came out good in the eliminator game against Hyderabad and played a crucial knock of 56 off just 38 deliveries to help his team get an amazing start. He would like to continue this sort of performance in the game against CSK as well and take his team over the victory line.
Pant will once again be the key for DC as he completely changed the game against Hyderabad when he struck 22 runs off Basil Thampi’s 18th over. That was the time when Delhi completely took the game away from Hyderabad’s hands. Pant would be looking to replicate this kind of performance against a team, which is led by his mentor MS Dhoni.
On the other hand, the bowling department looks solid with the likes Trent Boult and Ishant Sharma spearheading the pace attack while Amit Mishra and Axar Patel will once again bamboozle the batsmen with their ‘web of spin’.
Chennai Super Kings
Despite an amazing start, the performance of MS Dhoni-led CSK has been a little ‘patchy’ in the tournament. We have been saying this since the start of the tournament and we saying this now, other than MS Dhoni who has 405 runs in 13 games, no other middle-order batsman has been able to contribute any kind of match-winning performances with their bat.
Other than Dhoni, Indian veteran Suresh Raina (364 runs, 15 matches) and Faf du Plessis (320 runs, 10 matches) have been the only two players to provide some assistance with the bat. But they have not been consistent this season. And now, if they want to beat a strong team like Delhi, these two players would have to come out good for their side.
Other players such as Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, and Murali Vijay have a big role to play if they need to qualify for the finals because their batting seems to be the only weak link.
The bowling department looks solid and will once again look to pierce through Delhi’s batting line-up with their amazing skills. Right-arm pacer Deepak Chahar, who has 17 wickets in 15 games of the tournament so far, has been one of the finds of this tournament. His accurate line and length have been difficult to pick, which is one of the main reasons for the team’s success in this year’s tournament.
Meanwhile, the onus of taking wickets will be once again on none other than Imran Tahir. Tahir, who has 23 wickets in 15 games, would have to strike at the crucial stages of the game to mount extra pressure on Delhi. Veteran Harbhajan Singh will also be looking to provide some much-needed assistance to Tahir with his spin.
Head to Head: 20
CSK: 14 DC: 6
DC: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Colin Munro, Shreyas Iyer (C), Rishabh Pant (wk), Axar Patel, Keemo Paul, Sherfane Rutherford, Trent Boult, Amit Mishra, and Ishant Sharma.
CSK: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Murali Vijay, MS Dhoni (C and wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh, and Imran Tahir.
(Featured Image: FB/Delhi Capitals)
About the Author
Sports Journalist by profession, a Cricket Fanatic by passion. Aayush Sharma has been following the game of cricket since childhood and considers Sachin Tendulkar as his idol. When in free time, he loves to read books or go out and play some gully cricket with friends. For him, Tennis ace Roger Federer and F1 Legend Michael Schumacher are the only sportspersons that reach the level of Tendulkar