Men vs Boys in Qualifier: Delhi & CSK’s Contrasting Strengths
The clash between Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals is a very interesting one not only because it is for a spot in the final.
If you carefully scrutinise the roster of both the teams, the glaring thing will be the age difference between the players from both the teams. On one hand we have Delhi Capitals, who are the youngest team with average age of 27, and then we have Chennai Super Kings, who are aptly called the ‘Dads Army’. With average age of 34, the MS Dhoni and Co surely qualify as the oldest team in the competition.
But age is just a number, and Chennai have proved it once last year. Fielding almost an unchanged side from IPL 2018, Chennai do believe that they emulate past success.
And if numbers from IPL 2019 are to believed, there is hardly any difference between two sides. Everything the young guns of Delhi have done, have been matched by the ‘Dads’ of Chennai.
If most of the runs for Delhi have been scored by players who fall in age category of 18-25, for Chennai the feat has been emulated by players who are above 30.
The same trend is seen in bowling also.
Keeping in mind the contrasting features of both the sides, here’s a look at the players who will make a difference in the Qualifier:
Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings’ captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been in outstanding form this season. His exploits behind the stumps are well-known but this season MS Dhoni, the batsmen has also come to the forefront.
He has single-handedly won matches for his team.The former Indian captain has scored 405 runs at an average of 135 and strike rate of 138.5.
With Chennai’s top order failing more often than not this season. The onus to deliver the goods has been on Dhoni himself, and he has seldom disappointed. Going into the match against Delhi Capitals, Chennai will once again be hoping for Dhoni to be at his very best.
If MS Dhoni is Chennai’s Brain, then it would just be fair to call Suresh Raina the heart of the team. The 32-year-old hasn’t had a great season so far, but you can always bank upon Raina to come good when the stakes are high.
The southpaw has scored 364 runs this season at an average of 26 and a strike rate of 126.8. Heading into the Eliminator, CSK would like Raina to forget the past and bat the way only he can.
The South African leg spinner has been on a roll this season. Tahir has picked 23 wickets at an average of 16.5 with an incredible economy rate of 6.6.
Delhi has two in-form left-handed batsmen in Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant. Add the dynamic Colin Munro into the mix and you have a mouth-watering contest ready.
With the wicket in Vizag assisting turn, it will be interesting to see how Tahir fare against Delhi Capitals’ explosive batting lineup.
The dashing left-hander didn’t have a great start to the season, but since then, he has come into his own.
Shikhar Dhawan’s form has been one of the main reasons for Delhi’s success in the second half of the tournament. He has more often than not provided the team with either a quick start or a solid platform.
Having scored 503 runs at an average of 36.9 and a strike rate of 136.9, Delhi Capitals would be hoping for Shikhar to fire all cylinders if they are to defeat the mighty Super Kings.
The 21-year-old Rishabh Pant has now been one of the main-stays in Delhi’s batting line-up for the past few seasons. The unorthodox left-hander has been in and out of form this season.
But looking at the past few games, he seems to have found his mojo back. Pant was the man for Delhi in their previous do-or-die game vs Sunrisers Hyderabad. He slammed a magnificent 21-ball 49 to power his team to victory.
Having scored 450 runs at an average of 37.5 and a strike rate of 163.6, Delhi fans would like the big hitter to again make it big in the eliminator vs Chennai.
The lanky Indian pacer may have played a second fiddle to Kagiso Rabada, but he too, has had a good season so far. He has used his variations - the slower delivery and the knuckle ball, to perfection.
Ishant has got important breakthroughs throughout the season to put his team in dominating positions. He has accounted for a total of 12 wickets this season at an average of 27.1 and an economy rate of 7.7.
Delhi would hope for Sharma to come good if they are to to play their first ever IPL final.