DC vs CSK IPL 2021 Preview: 4th Oct - With qualification in the bag, Delhi and Chennai look to fine-tune
Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals have won 9 matches each out of 12 and have already qualified for the playoffs.
Their new target is to ensure that they finish in the top 2, get to play Qualifier 1 and have another opportunity even if they slip up on the big night.
Chahar, Bravo set to be back
Chennai Super Kings made a couple of changes in the last match to manage their workload. KM Asif came in the side in place of Deepak Chahar while Sam curran replaced Dwayne Bravo. Both the players failed to impress. Chahar and Bravo are set to return to the XI against Delhi.
Delhi have brought back the fit-again Prithvi Shaw at the top of the order. Steve Smith has been slotted in the middle order and will continue to play the anchor's role until Marcus stoinis regains fitness which should take a couple more matches.
The Gaikwad show
Chennai were right on the money in their last match to begin with and posted 189 runs on the board - the highest score of the second leg of IPL 2021 at that point. The team though got a rough deal at the toss as the pitch in Abu Dhabi was stopping a bit to begin with but flattened out with more and more dew.
Opener RutuRaj Gaikwad made full use when things eased out. He was going at run a ball till 30 but accelerated to finish with an unbeaten 101 off 60 deliveries with a superb six off Mustafizur Rahman off the last ball of the innings.
Gaikwad has now clinched the orange cap with most runs in IPL 2021. In fact, he is the only batsman to have scored over 500 runs in the season at an average of over 50 and strike rate in excess of 140. His opening partnership with Faf du Plessis has also been near-perfect.
The only big change that CSK might contemplate is Josh Hazlewood who has had fluctuating returns in the tournament till now. The team can bring in Lungi Ngidi or Imran Tahir to test them in the league matches and see if either of the two can find a place for themselves in the playoffs.
Leggie Mishra to replace Ashwin
The Delhi bowling line-up has been superb even as their batsmen have fallen short of their full potential. The only change Delhi will think of is to bring in leg spinner Amit Mishra, the second highest wicket taker in the history of the IPL, in place Ravichandran Ashwin.
Ashwin has not been at his best in this installment. It will certainly be a big call but trust head coach Ricky Ponting to do what's best for the franchise.
Predicted playing XIs
Chennai Super Kings - Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Lungi Ngidi/Imran Tahir
Delhi Capitals - Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (c & wk), Steve Smith, Shimron Hetmyer, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra/Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan
© Cricket World 2021