If you look at the points table, both CSK and DC have 18 points from 12 matches. Chennai are above Delhi on the points table only on the basis of their superior run rate. The similarly doesn’t end there. The two franchises have lost only one of their last five games and have been thoroughly dominant. Be it batting or bowling, CSK and DC have found their range. If Chennai have flair, DC have tenacity in equal measure.
Although both teams have qualified for the playoffs, they would like to win some brownie points just in case they come up against each other in the playoffs again. When the sides met in the first half in India, DC chased down 189 with ease. However, they will have a much stiffer challenge this time as a much more confident CSK will come hard at them.
CSK’s playing line-up is more or less set. Ruturaj Gaikwad was spectacular in the last game. Although his hundred in the last match against Rajasthan Royals (RR) ended up on the losing side, it was one of finest IPL knocks nonetheless.
Chennai will have to take a re-look at their bowling. Sam Curran hasn’t been getting it right this season so Dwayne Bravo could be back. Also, Deepak Chahar could replace KM Asif.
CSK’s predicted XI: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Josh Hazlewood
Although they have been doing well as a team, DC’s batting hasn’t been as methodical as it was in the first half. Prithvi Shaw hasn’t been among the runs and has suffered fitness issues while Shikhar Dhawan has fallen behind in the Orange Cap race. Shreyas Iyer has pulled them out of trouble more than once.
DC’s predicted XI: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Steve Smith, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (c and wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan
Top fantasy picks for DC vs CSK clash: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan
--Renin Wilben Albert