Without intending any puns, it must be said that Chennai Super Kings appeared to age significantly through the course of last year’s IPL. Doubts regarding their ability to challenge for top honours date back to 2018, but they responded with a title win in MS Dhoni’s best season, and followed it with a final appearance in 2019. But, 2020 felt different.
They just about avoided the embarrassing wooden spoon and disintegrated beyond recognition to bring up one of the most anticlimactic epilogues to a run full of success, drama and unexpected revivals. For a side that’s perhaps looking forward to the big auctions and a complete reset more than most others, the addition of a fourth year to the cycle provides a rare chance to alter the narrative one last time. Online Cricket Id The question is can they somehow find it in them to shrug off the rust from just six months ago and put in significantly improved performances?
There’s one question as far as Delhi Capitals are concerned too; after a final appearance in 2020, can they go one step further? But that’s still a question for much later. For Saturday, they need to dip into the depths of their squad to find replacements for some of their regulars from last season.
When: Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Capitals, April 10, 2021, 19:30 IST
Where: Wankhede stadium
What to expect: Pace has traditionally trumped spin at this venue. In the last three seasons, pacers have accounted for 139 wickets, while spinners have picked 45.
Chennai Super Kings
With three back-to-back fifties towards the end of CSK’s worst IPL campaign should give Ruturaj Gaikwad to start off as the team’s opener. But the opportunity this time will come with the pressures of giving the team quick starts, one of the biggest pet peeves for the three-time champions in 2020.
Robin Uthappa featured in the middle-order towards the end of his KKR stint as well as for RR, but the best bits of his IPL highlights reel – including a 660-run orange-cap winning season – have come when he has opened the batting. He too could be CSK’s go-to man to give them a PowerPlay nudge. Imran Tahir should also see more gametime compared to last season.
Probable XI: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Robin Uthappa/Ambati Rayudu, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Imran Tahir
A less-than-ideal start for 2020 finalists means they enter the fixture with quite a depleted squad. If losing Shreyas Iyer for the season wasn’t enough, they are likely to be without their South African pace duo of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, who combined to pick 52 wickets last season. Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav will have to handle fast-bowling duties with the likes of Marcus Stoinis and Chris Woakes chipping in.
Axar Patel too is unavailable after testing positive for Covid-19 earlier this week, so DC have a decision to make as far as the second spinner is concerned – they could pick Praveen Dubey or fall back on the experience of Amit Mishra.
Probable XI: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer/Sam Billings, Chris Woakes/Tom Curran, Ravichandran Ashwin, Praveen Dubey/Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav
Did you know:
- In six innings, Deepak Chahar has dismissed Prithvi Shaw five times
- Shikhar Dhawan has scored 777 in 23 innings against CSK at an average of 40.89 and strike rate of 127.80. His maiden T20 century came against them last season.
- Amit Mishra has dismissed Robin Uthappa and Suresh Raina four times each in the IPL.
What they said:
“I haven’t thought about the fact that it’s my first match as captain in the IPL. Match Tips I am just going to keep things simple and give my 100 percent. You get a good idea about setting fields as a wicketkeeper and now as captain I will be making the changes in the field directly.” – DC captain Rishabh Pant