Chennai Super Kings return to their adopted home to host Delhi Daredevils for the 30th match of the season. The two teams lie on opposite ends of the points table, but Delhi’s thumping of KKR might just mean a turn-around is on the cards. CSK lost their last game, only the second time this year, and a victory will take them to the top again.
DD showed some very promising signs against KKR under some new leadership. CSK have been brilliant all season, but the halfway mark is a time when the underdogs wake up and cause upsets to make the IPL interesting every year. Can DD cause their second consecutive upset, or will CSK replace SRH at the top?
Shreyas Iyer (c), Rishabh Pant, Glenn Maxwell, Gautam Gambhir, Jason Roy, Colin Munro, Mohammed Shami, Amit Mishra, Prithvi Shaw, Rahul Tewatia, Vijay Shankar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Daniel Christian, Jayant Yadav, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Trent Boult, Manjot Kalra, Abhishek Sharma, Sandeep Lamichhane, Naman Ojha, Sayan Ghosh, Liam Plunkett, Junior Dala.
Chennai Super Kings
MS Dhoni (c), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, Kanishk Seth, Lungi Ngidi, Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, N Jagadeesan, David Willey.
Where the teams stand
Delhi have greatly benefitted from the changes they first made against Punjab, and it almost gave them a victory then too. They have since thrashed KKR and are about the face another top four team. Iyer has settled down as captain quickly, as he proved with a breathtaking 93 from 40 balls which placed the game far beyond KKRs reach. Khan, Plunkett, Shaw and now Munro are justifying their place in the squad with some excellent performances. Add a galvanised Iyer and an already in-form Pant to this, and DD could potentially pull off something special if they play the way they did against KKR and Punjab.
Maxwell is one player who, if he raises his hand, could swing DDs fortunes very soon. He has been wasteful with the bat so far, and he needs to start justifying his place in the side soon. DD’s side suddenly looks a lot better, and it would be foolish to underestimate their prowess. Their bowling and batting departments have been rejuvenated by some solid changes that have gone their way. Now, they need to make sure they execute their plans effectively to mount some pressure on the home side.
Fantasy Picks: DD have several interesting players who could all be very valuable. Iyer and Pant are the safest bets, while Plunkett and Avesh Khan are worthy picks as bowlers. Munro and Boult are the other two safest bets.
Chennai Super Kings
CSK have been clinical with the bat so far, riding on the good form of several of their players. Rayudu and Raina have settled into their usual IPL routines of consistency, while Dhoni has kept up his scoring as well. Billings has not performed since the second game, and with Faf on the bench, he might just be dropped for this one. Their enigmatic batting has stepped up to the plate whenever required, which has been far too often due to the leakiness of their attack.
CSK's bowling has been as unpredictable as their batting. Chahar has put in some very ordinary, and some special performances depending on his mood. Chennai have tinkered with their attack a fair bit this season, and it has generally been expensive regardless. Harbhajan had a great game against MI, perhaps sidelining Karn Sharma to the bench for a while. Bravo and Watson have been irregular too, just like Chahar. CSK have found a way to make this uncertainty work, and the result is them being second on the table. DD present an interesting challenge, and with CSK, you never really know.
Fantasy Picks: Dhoni, Raina, and Rayudu are the obvious picks from CSK based on recent performances. Chahar is a worthy gamble, while Watson is another player worth having for his all-round abilities.
DD win. They are the clear underdogs, but they have looked spirited like never before, and might just pull off a sensational heist.
Can Delhi continue their upward trend or will the Super Kings prove too strong? Let us know in the comments and poll below.