Riding high after posting convincing victories in their respective opening games, Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings will now lock horns in a bid to take the early advantage on the points table.
There was a stark contrast in Delhi and CSK’s first win. While the CSK-RCB match was a low-scoring affair on a rank turner which saw a total of 141 runs scored in the match in 34.5 overs, the DC-MI affair was your typical run fest where the boundary hoardings came in for a proper pounding.
On paper, the fifth match of the IPL 2019 looks to be one between the Delhi batsmen versus the Chennai bowlers. The likes of Rishabh Pant, Shikhar Dhawan and Colin Ingram feasted on the Mumbai bowlers in their first game. But will they be able to produce the same result against the spin and guile of experienced campaigners such as Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir and Ravindra Jadeja on a Feroze Shah Kotla surface which has historically turned from the outset? The answer to this question might as well decide the eventual outcome of the encounter.
Chennai’s strength is undoubtedly in the spin unit which is stocked with riches. Harbhajan and Tahir were unplayable in the first game where they picked up three wickets each to bundle out RCB for a meagre 70. The batsmen then had a tough time in the middle but all of Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina and Kedar Jadhav spent some time in the middle and that is bound to hold them in good stead.
The Kotla surface will again be one where spinners are likely to rule the roost, but it is unlikely to be as treacherous as the one the Chennai batsmen came up against at MA Chidambaram Stadium.
For Delhi, on the other hand, it will be all about continuing the good work from the first game against Mumbai. Rishabh Pant was in his elements as he slammed a 27-ball 78 to help his side post a daunting 213/6. The bowlers then led by Ishant Sharma and Kagiso Rabada kept at it all through to restrict Mumbai to 176.
IPL is one tournament where Pant has always shone the brightest. He was the lone star in an otherwise mediocre campaign last season for Delhi and has once again started off this year like a train. What was most impressive about his knock at the Wankhede Stadium the other day was that he took on the best bowlers in the opposition. Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell McClenaghan and Hardik Pandya were all taken to the cleaners by the 21-year-old who hit seven fours and seven sixes in a delightful batting display. The Delhi unit will hope for much of the same from the youngster come Tuesday.
The likes of Dhawan and Colin Ingram too impressed in Delhi’s tournament opener. All in all, it was a perfect start for the Delhi outfit, something which that hasn’t always happened in the past. Shreyas Iyer will wish for his troops to just follow the same pattern and not get complacent after just one game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Rishabh Pant: He might not have been the most popular guy on the field during India’s recent One-Day International series against Australia where he spilled chances aplenty. But, on Monday at the Wankhede, there was just name reverberating around the stadium – Rishabh Pant! Coming out to bat in the 14th over, Pant took five balls to get off the mark but once he did, there was only way traffic as he blasted the bowlers to every nook and corner of the ground. The 21-year-old knows he is in the reckoning for a spot in India’s forthcoming World Cup campaign. He did not have the best of times in the ODI series against Australia but a good IPL will certainly boost his chances of making to the World Cup fifteen.
Shane Watson: The Chennai opener had a tough start to his IPL 2019 falling for a 10-ball duck in the tournament opener. Watson has been in delightful form of late. He scored 344 runs in 14 Big Bash games for Sydney Thunder and was the highest run-getter in Pakistan Super League for which he was awarded Player of the Series. The 37-year-old, was a key component in CSK’s last season win and will be itching to get his campaign back on track soon.
TEAM NEWS/AVAILABILITY UPDATES
Delhi: Most players had a decent outing in the first match of the season. Trent Boult and Axar Patel struggled a bit but it is unlikely the Delhi think-tank will want to tinker with a winning combination. The only change Delhi might think of is bringing leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane in place of fast bowling all-rounder Keemo Paul, with the Kotla surface expected to aid spin.
Chennai: MS Dhoni does not generally like to change his playing eleven too much most times. Unless there is a serious injury, Chennai will in probability, go ahead with the same combination as the first game.
Delhi Capitals: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer(c), Rishabh Pant(w), Colin Ingram, Keemo Paul/Sandeep Lamichhane, Axar Patel, Rahul Tewatia, Kagiso Rabada, Trent Boult, Ishant Sharma
Chennai Super Kings: Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni(w/c), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir
Delhi Capitals: Shreyas Iyer (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Colin Munro, Ankush Bains, Colin Ingram, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Manjot Kalra, Chris Morris, Keemo Paul, Sherfane Rutherford, Jalaj Saxena, Amit Mishra, Rahul Tewatia, Sandeep Lamichhane, Trent Boult, Kagiso Rabada, Avesh Khan, Ishant Sharma, Nathu Singh, Bandaru Ayyappa.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (c), Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, M Vijay, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Billings, Mitchell Santner, David Willey, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Imran Tahir, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, Karn Sharma, Dhruv Shorey, N Jagadeesan, Shardul Thakur, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Mohit Sharma, Ruturaj Gaikwad.