New Delhi : A formidable Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will be aiming to tie up loose ends ahead of the play-offs when they take on a listless Delhi Daredevils (DD) in a rare dead rubber of the Indian Premier League (IPL) here on Friday.
With CSK comfortably qualifying for the play-offs, the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led squad is eyeing the top spot on the points table alongside Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), whom they defeated comprehensively in their previous game.
The consistency CSK have shown in the tournament after missing out in the previous two seasons is commendable and it seems they were never out of action. They have been solid even against the mighty Sunrisers, who arguably have the best bowling attack in the tournament.
Also, CSK adjusted well in Pune, their forced home ground after games were moved out of Chennai due to the Cauvery water dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Their opening combination of Ambati Rayudu and Shane Watson has worked brilliantly while chasing big totals as well as setting them.
Rayudu, with 535 runs at 48.63 average, has been their standout player which was acknowledged by Dhoni after the opener smashed an unbeaten 100 against Sunrisers. Be it opening the batting or in the middle order, Rayudu has delivered for the team.
“Even before IPL started I had to make space for Rayudu, because he is somebody I rate very highly. He can play both the fast bowlers and spinners very well. Most teams look to exploit the opener with spin bowling.
“He is someone who does not look like a big hitter but almost clears the field every time he plays the big shot,” said Dhoni after the game against Sunrisers. Dhoni himself has turned back the clock with his clean hitting, helping him amass 413 runs at 103.25.
CSK will get to fine tune their game against Daredevils, a team which has been below par yet again. Getting the legendary Ricky Ponting on board as coach and a change in captaincy in the middle of the tournament too has not helped the struggling side.
Delhi Daredevils: Shreyas Iyer (C), Rishabh Pant, Glenn Maxwell, Gautam Gambhir, Jason Roy, Colin Munro, Mohammed Shami, Amit Mishra, Prithvi Shaw, Rahul Tewatia, Vijay Shankar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Daniel Christian, Jayant Yadav, Gurkeerat Mann, Trent Boult, Manjot Kalra, Abhishek Sharma, Sandeep Lamichhane, Naman Ojha, Sayan Ghosh, Liam Plunkett, Junior Dala.
Chennai Super Kings Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf Du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayadu, Deepak Chahar, K M Asif, Kanish Seth, Lungi Ngidi, Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Kshtiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, N Jagadeesan, David Willy.
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