IPL 2019: Dhoni doubtful as CSK, DC eye top-two finish

Chennai Super Kings might most likely miss skipper M.S. Dhoni in Wednesday's clash against Delhi Capitals due to illness as it looks to solidify a top-two finish.

Chennai Super Kings

Chennai Super Kings has lost two matches this season in which Dhoni has not featured.   -  AP

Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals, having already qualified for the playoffs, would want to assure themselves a top-two finish when they square off at Chennai's M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Wednesday.

CSK, coming off two losses in previous three games, is playing a Delhi Capitals team that has made it to the last four of the IPL for the first time in seven years.

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The defeat to Mumbai Indians is proof enough that the Men In Yellow aren't invincible at home. Chennai will be cautious coming into its last home match but should guard against an overtly conservative approach.

While Ravindra Jadeja, who sat out Chennai's last home game, is in contention for tomorrow's match, uncertainty surrounds the participation of skipper M.S. Dhoni, who was also forced out with viral fever.

The three-time IPL champion looks a balanced side with Dhoni in it,  but without him to negotiate the middle overs, the batting unit has looked unsure, brittle even.

READ | Sourav Ganguly: Delhi Capitals' players deserve credit for success

Lack of runs from Suresh Raina (247), Ambati Rayudu (213) and Kedar Jadhav (162) has been a concern with Shane Watson doing little of note, save the 96 off 53 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Delhi openers Shikhar Dhawan (451) and Prithvi Shaw (280), meanwhile, have been aggressive in the Powerplay, with in-form captain Shreyas Iyer (383) and wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant (343) displaying maturity in the middle overs before upping the ante. "Facing spin at Ferozeshah Kotla, Delhi is more difficult than here (Chepauk)," Dhawan said at the pre-match presser. His approach against Imran Tahir and Harbhajan Singh will be worth watching.

 

In the last match against the Royal Challengers Bangalore at Ferozeshah Kotla, it was the partnership between Sherfane Rutherford and Axar Patel, which took Delhi Capitals from 141 for 5 after 17 overs to 187 for 5 after 20, highlighting a deep batting order.

The Chepauk wicket played low and slow in the initial stage of the tournament but has favoured the batsmen off late with sides putting up totals excess to 150.

ALSO READ | M.S. Dhoni recovering, still doubtful for Wednesday’s game - Fleming

It'll be interesting to see how purple cap holder Delhi seamer Kagiso Rabada fares in Chennai. The spin trio of Amit  Mishra, Sandeep Lamichhane and spinner Axar Patel will hope to exploit the conditions.

Chennai too, laced with its battery of spinners Harbhajan, Tahir and Jadeja, will look to thrive in its backyard. Right-arm seamer Deepak Chahar, who has bowled unbroken spells up front, is expected to play a similar role against Delhi.

Chennai was the first to qualify for the last four but its poor Net Run Rate could get in the way of a top-two finish. Delhi, with a better NRR than Chennai, will be in good stead should it win against Dhoni's men.

 

Chennai Super Kings 16 Points, NRR -0.113
Remaining matches: Delhi Capitals (Chennai), Kings XI Punjab (Mohali)

Delhi Capitals 16 Points, NRR 0.233
Remaining matches: Chennai Super Kings (Chennai), Rajasthan Royals (Delhi)



Teams (from):
 

Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (captain & WK), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Murali Vijay, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Dhruv Shorey, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Rituraj Gaikwad, Dwayne Bravo, Karn Sharma, Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Santner, Shardul Thakur, Mohit Sharma, K M Asif, Deepak Chahar, N Jagadeesan (wk), Scott Kuggeleijn.

Delhi Capitals: Shreyas Iyer (captain), Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Colin Ingram, Keemo Paul, Axar Patel, Rahul Tewatia, Amit Mishra, Kagiso Rabada, Ishant Sharma, Hanuma Vihari, Ankush Bains, Chris Morris, Sherfane Rutherford, Jalaj Saxena, Sandeep Lamichhane, Trent Boult, Avesh Khan, Nathu Singh, Bandaru Ayyappa, Colin Munro, Manjot Kalra.


 

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