The second part of the double header in the Indian Premier League on Saturday comes from Sharjah as the Delhi Capitals take on the Chennai Super Kings in what could be a fascinating match despite the large gap between the two sides in the table.
The Capitals go into the match in second place in the league table with the Super Kings down in sixth so both teams have their own agenda for wanting to win this one – Delhi to move back to the top and Chennai to push for a play-off spot.
The Delhi Capitals started the season in excellent form but one or two question marks have begun to appear the longer the campaign has gone on. That isn’t necessarily down to how they have been playing, more injuries hurting them and causing a change up in the balance of their team which hasn’t been overly successful. They have won a match since the Rishabh Pant injury forced them into change but they haven’t looked as convincing.
The one thing that hasn’t changed throughout the tournament is the quality of their bowling attack. If anything that is getting better and the fearsome speeds that Amrich Nortje was hitting in their last match may give them another dimension that they didn’t know they had. He is up against his former side here so he’ll be out to prove a point. If the Delhi batting fires like it should then they are going to be hard to stop.
Chennai Super Kings
This hasn’t yet been the tournament that the Chennai Super Kings will have wanted but they are all experienced enough to know that these things aren’t necessarily how you start but more how you finish so in that respect there is still time for them to do something substantial in the competition, but if that is to happen they will need to find a lot more consistency than they have shown so far this term. A good win last time out is a positive platform to build on.
It has largely been the Chennai batting that has been the problem this season so it was a positive that they put Sam Curran up to open the batting last time out. That lengthened their batting and didn’t expose their out of form middle order as much but it will be interesting to see how their batsmen go if they are chasing a big score. We’ve seen a few sides get a bit giddy under scoreboard pressure and come up a mile short and that is generally the trend of an out of form unit.
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Shikhar Dhawan has been looking good in recent times and if he can get the Delhi Capitals off to a flying start then the Chennai game plan of squeezing in the middle overs with the spin might have to go out of the window and one of them come in early on.
Sam Curran has been given an important role in the side but he can’t just bat without care and attention here. The key to Sharjah isn’t about going hell for leather up front and giving wickets away, it is building a platform to explode later.
I’m not convinced the 19.5 sixes line is going to be threatened in this match. Since the early stages of the competition the number of sixes on this ground has reduced dramatically and I see that trend continuing here. We should point out that there were more than 20 here in the last match but that was a match that had AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle on show and there is nothing of that nature in this game it must be said.
Delhi’s batting is just starting to look a little fragile and while they are still putting up the runs they are not piling them up with a couple of key positions out of form and one or two players being more touch batsmen than brute force. The same can be said of the Chennai Super Kings and unless one of their three overseas batters starts going mad, which will be a tough ask against this Delhi bowling attack, then I’m not convincing many sixes come their way either. I think this will be a match where the team batting first scores a few runs and the chasers wilt under scoreboard pressure and that should keep the sixes total below 20.
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