Deadline: May 10, 2019 at 7:30 PM IST
Venue: Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam
If you go through Rishab Pant’s innings, you may suggest that the Vizag pitch favours batters. Prithvi Shaw too flaunted his magnificent technique. Before they took centre stage, Martin Guptill had muscled a few into the stands. You are not wrong, but runs aren’t easy to come by. Pant and Guptill had to use all their power, while Shaw was smart with his strokeplay. Otherwise, the pitch appeared sticky. We saw as many as 16 wickets fall in the Eliminator.
If the ball isn’t in your arc, overhitting becomes a bad option. Attack only when certain of your strokeplay.
Probable XI for Chennai: Shane Watson, Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, DJ Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir
Probable XI for Delhi: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Ier (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Colin Munro/Colin Ingram, Sherfane Rutherford, Axar Patel, Keemo Paul, Amit Mishra, Trent Boult, Ishant Sharma
We have opted for a fantasy team on the basis of players’ impact, recent performances, and credit points.
Note that you can now change your team after the toss. You can also check players’ performances in the last 5 matches. Tap on the players’ names to get the data while making your fantasy team.
My XI: Rishabh Pant (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Shikhar Dhawan (vc), Faf du Plessis, Sherfane Rutherford, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Taahir (c), Amit Mishra, Keemo Paul, Ishant Sharma
For the first time in IPL, Delhi tasted victory in playoffs, and going by their recent performances, it won’t come as a surprise if they upset the giants of the league – Chennai and Mumbai – and eventually bag the title to add it to the list of firsts. They have won 8 of their last 10 games. However, it will be an uphill journey. After defeating one three-time champions, they will have to defeat another three-time champions. Iyer, 24, will be up against Dhoni and Rohit, the top captains in the league leading the top teams.
Will they? Can they?
They have experienced players in Dhawan, Mishra, Ishant, and Boult, and they have young dynamites in Shaw, Iyer, and Pant – all of whom have been significantly contributing. Dhawan, Iyer, and Pant feature in the list of top 10 run-scorers, while Sharma, Mishra, and Paul have peaked at the right time.
Do they have an edge over Chennai, the defending champions?
Chennai have won 6 of their last 10 games.
With 405 runs, Dhoni has scored the most runs for his team, but he does not feature in the top 10 list. To make matters worse, Raina, who has played 5 innings more and scored 41 runs fewer than Dhoni – is their second-highest scorer. Kedar Jadhav has been ruled out due to injury, and Chennai played Vijay, an opener, at No. 4 in the first qualifier. If there’s anything they have to boast of, it is the performance of Imran Tahir: he has taken 23 wickets at 16.52 and is 3 wickets away from dethroning Rabada from the first spot.
To put things into perspective, Chennai have not been playing well as a cohesive unit. Put Dhoni and Tahir aside and they look ordinary. In fact, Chennai lost both matches when Dhoni was rested. No Dhoni, no Chennai.
The only psychological advantage Chennai have over Delhi is that they have won both games against Iyer’s men this season – and that too comprehensively. At Delhi, they won by 6 wickets, thanks to Watson’s 44. At Chennai, they won by 80 runs, thanks to Tahir’s four-for.
Come to think of it, the battle is between Delhi’s batters and Chennai’s bowlers. Whoever dominates will meet Mumbai on Sunday.