Delhi, The Fight Against The Inevitability Of Another MI-CSK-final > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Delhi fight the inevitability of yet another MI-CSK finale

Can Delhi Capitals avert the predictability of another Mumbai-Chennai finale?

Chennai Super Kings hardly ever play away games. They are to Indian Premier League what India are to world cricket, ransacking fans on the run and scarring loyalties in perpetuum. Visakhapatnam is no alien to this great sporting subculture of our times. The city in fact seemed ready as early as the Eliminator, which funnily didn't even feature the Super Kings. But the fans who turned up in bright yellow jerseys, only to feel out of turn in a Delhi-Sunrisers clash will return on Friday for Qualifier 2. It's a jostle for a spot in the final after all. And it's Thala returning to the town which started it all for him. You can't not be there.

The Eliminator itself was hardly a neutral affair. Sections of the stands had Sunrisers flags awaiting the fans, and a smattering of Delhi fans had little say in cheer-leading. Delhi could probably be up against a more raucous weekend crowd this time, but Shreyas Iyer won't mind it one bit. Delhi have mostly revelled in lack of attention.

What is going to matter though is their lacklustre record against the Super Kings, be it this season or in seasons before that. Among the significant match-ups in IPL, Super Kings's rivalry with Kolkata Knight Riders is the only one more one-sided than their rivalry with Delhi. When the teams last met this season, Delhi were bowled out for 99, which didn't just hurt their net run rate, denying them a top-two finish, but also their confidence. "It is a good reality check for us. Good that it happened at this stage," Iyer had said in the aftermath.

Super Kings were in fact the ones who flagged off Delhi's wretched run of form at home, but quite poetically lost steam towards the end of the season as Delhi gained some. Super Kings still sit with a two-nil hold over Delhi in 2019 and have swathes of experience to fall back upon. MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina have played 22 playoff games each; Delhi have a combined tally of only 27 games.

Youth, quite unoriginally, could again be the differentiator for Delhi, but more conspicuously than ever before. They are up against Super Kings, jeeringly called 'dad's army' in social media circles, who will be out to secure their eighth appearance in a final. Delhi have been in none. Can they avert the predictability of another Mumbai-Chennai finale? The tournament could surely do with a new winner.

What: Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Capitals, Qualifier 2 on May 10, 07:30 PM LOCAL

Where: Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam

What to expect: It's going to be as hot and humid, and the game is going to be as slow. Now with tactics laid out the table, expect teams to go harder in the powerplay in order to buy themselves some time against the softer ball later. There will be dew again in the night, meaning defending a target will be difficult. The team winning the toss is almost certain to bowl first.

Team news

Chennai Super Kings: From the kind of pitches this season has seen, Super Kings have been quite fortunate. They have another similar pitch waiting, though the turn won't be as prodigious as at Chepauk. Murali Vijay replaced injured Kedar Jadhav in Qualifier 1 and made run-a-ball 26. He should keep his place.

Probable XI: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Murali Vijay, MS Dhoni(w/c), Ambati Rayudu, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Deepak Chahar, Imran Tahir

Delhi Capitals: It wasn't a perfect game for Delhi but they did the job alright. Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant's innings sandwiched a slow-boiling middle. Colin Munro looked all at sea against spin and could lose his place to Colin Ingram. Trent Boult had another average outing with the ball but do they see Chris Morris as the pace spearhead alongside Ishant Sharma?

Probable XI: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer(c), Colin Munro/Colin Ingram, Rishabh Pant(w), Sherfane Rutherford, Axar Patel, Keemo Paul, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Trent Boult

Did you know

Super Kings have won 14 out of the 20 matches between the sides.

Both teams have endured a season of two halves. Delhi lost three out of five before going on to win eight of the last 10 games. Super Kings, on the other hand, started by winning seven out of eight games but have lost five of their last seven games.

Shane Watson has five dismissals each against Amit Mishra and Axar Patel.

Super Kings have lost the most wickets (29), have the lowest average (19.38), poorest run rate (6.24) and most frequent balls per dismissal (18.62) in the first six overs this IPL.

Delhi have lost the most wickets (46), have the lowest average (13.09), worst balls per wicket (8.26) and second lowest scoring rate (9.51) in the death overs this IPL.

Super Kings spinners have taken 55 wickets this IPL so far - the most in a season by a team

What they said

"It's not about who we're playing, it's about how our preparations are. And we're really looking forward to it and hope we do what we've done earlier" - Prithvi Shaw on playing Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 2

"Rather than going over the wicket, we now need to go round the wicket. That means the journey takes a longer time. But luckily, we finished in the top-two and that gives us a second chance" - MS Dhoni after losing Qualifier 1 to Mumbai Indians

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