Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Can DC reverse their playoffs record against CSK?. A simplified overview of the first qualifier could be - DC's bowling against CSK's batting
A simplified overview of the first qualifier could be - DC's bowling against CSK's batting
Will historical records have any bearing at all on the outcome of a new game? Unlikely. But going just by the numbers at the playoff stages of the Indian Premier League point to a distinct favorite. Chennai Super Kings. They have won 13 out of their 22 encounters in this stage of the IPL, including both times they faced Delhi Capitals.
But they come into the game on the back of three consecutive losses, including once to Delhi at the same venue. Should that be a worry? Maybe. If so, Delhi too sail in a not too dissimilar boat, coming into the game after suffering a heartbreaking final-ball loss against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the same venue on Friday, October 8.
Whether these psychological factors play a role remains intangible. But the tangible ones offer an interesting study in contrasting methods of the top two sides of this season.
Both have had a few distinct factors in common, as well as different. What's common is their in-form opening combinations. What's not is the structure of their bowling combinations. While Delhi have a good balance between their spinners and fast bowlers, CSK tilt towards their faster bowlers in their make-up of the final eleven.
Delhi's main strength lies in the fact that any of their bowlers could bowl at different stages of the innings. It allows for flexibility in terms of match-ups, ground conditions and a sustained quality of attack that can lay claim to be the most varied in IPL 2021.
A case in point for that would be their strength against CSK's highest run-getter of the season – Faf du Plessis – where Delhi will have two options as favourable match-ups. Axar Patel has an economy rate of 6.68 against Du Plessis while Kagio Rabada's ER is 6.64. Both have dismissed him three times each.
This variety has also helped mask some of their shortcomings in the UAE leg where none of their batsmen have scored a 50 yet.
While CSK's bowling offers a lot of variety within the gamut of fast bowling – swing, cutters, back of length – the core strength of their make-up lies in the way they've picked batting might all the way through the order.
While the lack of form of a couple might still be a worry, it is through this depth that they built a formula for success in IPL 2021. Pairing them alternatively as left-right combinations allowed for a constant threat at the crease whenever unequal boundary sizes came into play, while also enabling the batsmen to be aggressive right through the innings if required. This factor gets enhanced when they plan ahead for targets, reflecting in a 100% record in run chases. Contrastingly the chinks surface while defending targets when they've lost five times out of nine.
A simplified overview thus, possibly points towards the battles between Delhi's bowling against CSK's batting as the pivotal one in deciding who becomes the first finalist this year.
When:Sunday, October 10, 2021 at 19:30 IST
Where: Dubai International Cricket Stadium
What to expect: The ground at Dubai brings the unequal boundary sizes into play, especially against the spinners. The pitch, so far, has seen teams getting to the 160-mark often enough, and only twice get into the 180s in this leg.
Head to head: DC have won 10 while CSK have won 15 overall.
Injured/Unavailable: There hasn't been clarity on the availability of Marcus Stoinis as yet, but with Delhi seemingly grooming Ripal Patel as the fill-in, it won't be a surprise if they go in unchanged.
Tactics and Match ups: Ruturaj Gaikwad getting out to the short ball twice in a row will force Delhi to try that once more against the opener. Additionally, Axar Patel's left-arm spin could come into play early just as it did in their encounter against CSK a few days back.
Probable XI: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Ripal Patel/Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan
Chennai Super Kings
Injured/Unavailable: The one possible change to their eleven could be the inclusion of Suresh Raina in place of Robin Uthappa, who hasn't made the most of the two opportunities handed to him. However, head coach Stephen Fleming wasn't able to provide a clear update on Raina's injury status after their last league stage fixture against PBKS.
Tactics and Match ups: Deepak Chahar's continued success against Prithvi Shaw, whom he has now bagged six times, will be key in the strategy against Delhi's successful opening pair. Moeen Ali's offspin too could play a big part in the match-up against Delhi's left-handers.
Probable XI: Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, Robin Uthappa/Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Josh Hazlewood
Did you know?
– Delhi have beaten Chennai in their last four encounters
-Rishabh Pant will become the youngest to lead a side in a playoff game at 24y & 6d while MS Dhoni will become the second player aged above 40 to lead a side in a playoff game, after Rahul Dravid in 2013.
– Eight of the 11 matches in Dubai were won by the chasing team – including all of the last seven games.
What they said
I think we should be very confident. We have beaten them twice in the league games, but as you know, the playoff games are completely different, and our tournament really starts now –Ricky Ponting, Head Coach of Delhi Capitals.
“If there's probably any lessons [from three successive defeats], it's the intent we've shown can often create opportunities. I am pretty philosophical, I know you can get beaten up at times in this tournaments, but if you can ride the waves and get close to the end of the tournament, you have a chance, which we have.” – Stephen Fleming, Head coach of Chennai Super Kings.