new delhi: Aiming to regain a winning momentum in the 11th edition of Indian Premier League, Chennai Super Kings will be out to hunt a win against bottom-dwellers Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium here on Friday.
Despite poor outing of the Daredevils at home turf, Kotla is expecting a sea of a crowd on Friday, largely due to the star power of the MS-Dhoni-led side.
The Chennai team have grown from strength to strength over the season and have notched up 8 wins out of possible 12. Showing brute force of their batting salvo, Chennai have won six of their matches by either chasing a target or putting up a stiff total for their opponents. Playing a key role in that has been the opening duo of Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu. The openers have together amassed 959 runs this season, including a 134-run stand in the last game against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Coming in at no 3, 31-year-old Suresh Raina has shown maturity with his age by playing a sheet anchor, who holds the innings for the yellow outfit from one end. The experienced southpaw has crossed the 300-run mark this season by playing 30-odd innings regularly.
However, the fireworks arrive when the likes of Dhoni, Dwayne Bravo, and Sam Billings come lower down the order. The 36-year-old 'keeper has brushed aside his critics by piling 443 runs in 12 innings.
CSK's bowling, however, has failed to match the same level of consistency like their batting Apart from Deepak Chahar, who has taken seven wickets in eight games at an impressive 7.29 economy rate, Chennai's bowlers have struggled to maintain fluency in their performance. The southern side are also infamous for giving away most runs in the death overs this season, as Bravo has been their only reliable option in death overs.
Delhi, on the other hand, suffer from a similar syndrome of scoring runs in bulk and getting let down by their pedestrian bowling.
The splendid form of Rishabh Pant remains the key for the national Capital side. Often blamed for his inconsistency, the 'keeper-batsman has finally scored runs on the trot this season. However, below-par performances by his teammates has hindered in achieving the collective goals of the team.
Injury to key bowlers in Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris, coupled with an out-of-form display of in-controversy pacer Mohammed Shami, gave the team a fatal blow as their replacements – Junior Dala and Liam Plunkett – have struggled to fill in their boots.
Both teams might opt to chase on the Delhi pitch which has favoured teams chasing. And given bowling woes of both teams, it would be a smart choice.