The Delhi Capitals (DC), headed by Rishabh Pant, will face MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the first Qualifier of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 today. DC finished the league stage as the top-placed team with 10 wins from 14 games, while CSK had 9 wins. The winner of this game advances to the final, while the loser will face the winner of The Eliminator between the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). DC has won both of their encounters this season, including one only five days ago at the same site. But who will win on Sunday is anyone’s guess.
Chennai Super Kings:
CSK blew the chance to move first by losing their last three games. Their loss to PBKS was particularly crushing, with KL Rahul’s blitzkrieg assisting PBKS in chasing down CSK’s total in only 13 overs. While CSK shouldn’t be too concerned by these outcomes, they should keep them in mind. Moeen Ali and MS Dhoni have suffered from a lack of batting returns. They’ve struggled to raise the stakes after their initial partnership was shattered. That is something they must keep in mind while facing an excellent DC bowling attack. Nonetheless, with a stellar postseason record and a tendency for rebounding, CSK will bet on reaching the final.
Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf Du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina/Robin Uthappa, Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni (C/WK), DJ Bravo, Josh Hazlewood, Shardul Thakur, and Deepak Chahar.
DC were defeated by RCB in their previous group-stage match, losing by seven wickets after giving a last-ball six. After registering 164/5, they were in a dominant position, but their fielding let them down. They missed three Glenn Maxwell receptions, and he made them pay. With an undefeated 52-ball 78, Srikar Bharat dealt serious damage as well. DC hasn’t made many changes to their starting lineup for the UAE leg, with Marcus Stoinis’ injury being their main concern. He brings a lot of balance to their team, and DC has missed him. If he is fit, he should return to the team. Otherwise, DC should remain with their solid starting XI.
Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (C/WK), Ripal Patel/Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, and Avesh Khan.
In the IPL, the two teams have faced each other 23 times. CSK has a 15-game head-to-head advantage, with DC winning 8 of these. From May 2012 until May 2015, they had a seven-game winning streak versus DC. They met for the first time on May 2, 2008, at Chennai’s M. A. Chidambaram Stadium. Delhi won by 8 wickets, thanks to half-centuries from openers Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag. DC has won both of their encounters this season, including one only five days ago at the same site.
The Dubai International Cricket Stadium has slowed down in recent games, after starting as the finest batting pitch. Off the field, seamers should receive support, while cutters and slower deliveries tend to work better. It’s possible that we’ll have a 155-160 game that comes down to the wire.
This game is difficult to forecast because both teams are aiming to rebound from losses in past meetings. DC appear to be better than CSK at the present, and this could provide them an advantage over MS Dhoni’s team, or do you think otherwise?