The Chennai Super Kings will no doubt be very keen to get back to the winning ways. Never mind what captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni says about experimenting with the batting order to find the right balance. He knows the importance of a win, having piloted CSK to eight finals in 12 editions of the IPL.
Delhi Capitals know that CSK are much like wounded tigers. Skipper Shreyas Iyer must be looking at ways to thwart a CSK bounce back. He has Kagiso Rabada at the head of his attack, but the question mark over off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin must be a worry. If Ashwin fails the fitness test, one of the leg-spinners – Amit Sharma of Sandeep Lamichchane – would come in.
Will Chennai’s experience upend the youthful exuberance of Delhi? If past records are a barometer, CSK should win in a canter. They have 15-6 win record against the Capitals, three of them in the last season including the qualifier in the play-offs. CSK too have injury worries: Ambati Rayudu is still nursing a hamstring injury and Dwayne Bravo continues to recover from a knee injury. Lungi Ngidi’s hammering at the hands of Rajasthan Royals’ Jofra Archer casts doubts on his selection. Piyush Chawla’s struggle against Sanju Samson throws the spotlight on other spinners Karn Sharma and Imran Tahir. But being an overseas player, Tahir can make the team only if Ngidi’s dropped.
Dhoni is not impulsive in his team selection, but don’t be surprised if the bowling attack is tweaked a bit. He wants a win, and he will get it in Dubai today.