Comfortably placed at the top of the table, Chennai Super Kings would focus on sealing their playoff berth after an abrupt loss when they take on a lowly Delhi Daredevils in their own den in an IPL match on Tuesday.
The Daredevils, already out of contention for a berth in the play-offs, have only pride to play for against the mighty opponents at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
Chennai, with 10 victories and four loses from 14 matches, have virtually advanced to the play-off stage of the tournament.
Their form took a bit of a tumble when CSK, who have won the title twice before, suffered a five-wicket loss against Rajasthan Royals on Sunday night.
Chasing 142 for a win, the Royals lost three wickets inside five overs before Shane Watson played a blistering knock of 70 off just 34 balls to end the match in dramatic fashion with 17 balls to spare.
It must have come as a wake-up call for the CSK, but they are expected to bounce back given the presence of high-profile and in-form players in their ranks.
Except for a few loses, CSK haven`t put a foot wrong. The batting line-up comprising Michael Hussey, Suresh Raina and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the envy of other IPL outfits.
In the bowling department, the team boasts of the likes of Albie Morkel, Mohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Chris Morris and Dwayne Bravo. All of them have done their bit and would be quite a handful for the Delhi batsmen.
On the other hand, the Daredevils, placed second-last in the points table with as many as 10 defeats from 13 games have nothing to lose.
Given the current scenario, they can play without any pressure. There is no burden of expectations on the misfiring batsmen and the out-of-sorts bowlers. They now can just go on to play party-poopers.
Delhi`s top order has failed for inexplicable reasons. Neither Virender Sehwag nor captain Mahela Jayawardene have lived up to their reputations. Australian left-hander David Warner is the only one who has done his bit.
The promising players in Unmukt Chand and Ben Rohrer have also failed to make an impression.
As far as their bowling is concerned, they have not been able to fire in unison.
The likes of Morne Morkel, Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav and Shahbaz Nadeem need to come up with splendid performances to pose any challenge to a strong CSK unit.
Daredevils coach T A Sekhar is aware of the condition of the pitch here and would look to deploy the best combination possible.
The fans would only pray to the weather gods to keep the rains away as there is a cyclone threat looming large.
Chennai Super Kings: M S Dhoni (C), Akila Dananjaya, Albie Morkel, Srikkanta Anirutha, Ankit Rajpoot, Baba Aparajith, Ben Hilfenhaus, Ben Laughlin, Chris Morris, Dirk Nannes, Dwayne Bravo, Francois du Plessis, Imtiyaz Ahmed, Jason Holder, Michael Hussey, Mohit Sharma, Murali Vijay, Nuwan Kulasekara, R Karthikeyan, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ronit More, Shadab Jakati, S Badrinath, Suresh Raina, Vijay Shankar and Wridhiman Saha.
Delhi Daredevils: Mahela Jayawardane (C), Virender Sehwag, David Warner, Umesh Yadav, Manpreet Juneja, Ashish Nehra, Naman Ojha, Irfan Pathan, Andre Russell, Kedar Jadhav, Ajit Agarkar, Johan Botha, Unmukt Chand, Morne Morkel, Shahbaz Nadeem, Ben Rohrer, Royston Dias, Muralitharan Gautam, Sidharth Kaul, Jeevan Mendis, Yogesh Nagar, Sujeet Nayak, Pavan Negi, Aristh Singhvi, Roelof van der Merwe, Venugopal Rao and Gulam Bodi.
Published Date: May 14, 2013 01:11 pm | Updated Date: May 14, 2013 01:11 pm