IPL Qualifier 1 Preview: CSK Hold Edge with experience on DC

The Chennai Super Kings Old Guards, with their whimsical skill in owning the big stage at the right time, will start as favorites against the solid Delhi Capitals line-up led by ‘young actress’ Rishabh Pant. On Sunday.

The best team in the Capitals League and their 20-point finish in the group stage are indicative of their consistent performances, which have not diminished due to the COVID-19 forced break.

Similarly, CSK are now back in the familiar settings of the play-off rounds, which were done 12 times 11 times, but losing three matches in the bounce did not entertain their powerful captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

On the other hand, in their last group league game against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kona Bharat got a tough jolt to DC through the last ball six. It did not change their polar position but did enough to move them from their stupidity.

CSK, over the years, have reached the final eight times and won on three occasions, indicating the team’s ability to lift their game when most needed.

That’s the same reason why CSK isn’t one of those franchises that unleashes dozens of new talent like other franchises. Ruturaj Gaikwad is an exception, as he has been known as the pure CSK product for more than a decade now.

Dhoni has a common cricket philosophy — rely on people who have tried and tested hard in combat and so he always attacks people like Ravindra Jadeja, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo and Faf du Plessis.

These players, have been there and done that. People who can control the steps and win stressful situations, which often do not lead to success.

Add Josh Hazelwood or Moin Ali, international regulars in that mix and the former India captain knows exactly what combination he should make in the park.

No matter how much one talks about team effort, T20 is probably a form of cricket in which no one knows more than Dhoni that people win matches.

Dhoni knows that his batting form (96 runs in 14 games) many years ago (from 2015-16) and IPL legend Raina (160 in 12 games) was once a light shadow of his destructive nature. Gaikwad (533) and Du Plessis (546) were the ones who most often did not provide solid starts and the threatening Jadeja (227) provided the final boom.

Similarly, Shardul Thakur (18 wickets in 14 games) scored with an expensive economy rate of 8.57, but still progress is significant. No one knows more than Dwayne Bravo (12 wickets) how he can deceive the batsmen by changing the speed of his deliveries at the time of death.

Hazlewood has not found form but there is immense patience among the players who believe in Dhoni and he can destroy a devastating first spell from the Aussies.

This could happen against Delhi Capitals, as their batting, despite 10 wins, certainly did not inspire the highest level of confidence. Prithviraj Shah (401) and Shikhar Dhawan (544) started their partnership, but they certainly did not dominate the UAE leg.

Skipper Pant (362) was the top scorer and the absence of Marcus Stoinis due to injury damaged their balance as Shimran saved Hetmire at the time of death.

DC’s strength was their bowling attack – Avesh Khan (22 wickets), Akshar Patel (15 wickets), Kagiso Rabada (13 wickets) and Anrich Nortze, who took 9.5 wickets in six games, but the economy rate was 5.59.

DC’s bowling attack is right on the money without taking it to the cleaners but Pant hopes the average law will not get them and Nortje and Rabada Gaikwad can land with shortballs, which is a weak point for the Maharashtra batter.

But yes, Dhoni also agreed that Raina and Rayudu should make some clear contributions to Willow last season for CSK.

The skipper also needed to raise his hand because he could not maintain the raw speed.


Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, KM Asif, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, N Jagadeesan, Karn Sharma, Lungi Engidi, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad, R Sai Kishore, Moin Ali, K Gautam, Cheteshwar Pujara, Harishankar Reddy, Bhagat Verma, C Hari Nishant.

DC: Rishabh Pant (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Prithviraj Shah, Ripal Patel, Shikhar Dhawan, Shimrom Hetmire, Shreyas Iyer, Steve Smith, Amit Mishra, Anrich Northze, Avesh Khan, Ben Dwarsh, Ishant Sharma, Kagilova, Kagilova Dubey, Tom Curran, Umesh Yadav, Akshar Patel, Lalit Yadav, Marcus Stoinis, Ravichandran Ashwin, Sam Billings and Vishnu Vinod.



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