The second qualifier between Delhi Daredevils and Chennai Super Kings on Friday will, in many ways, be the cash of the tournament. The two teams that take the field have had completely contrasting fortunes. Delhi were the table toppers in the league stage while Chennai just about qualified. All that will, however, count for nothing when they clash for a place in the final against Kolkata Knight Riders. Chennai were brilliant in the win against Mumbai, but will have to do an encore if they want to make it to yet another summit clash. As for Delhi, they cannot afford another lapse, like they did against Kolkata, for it will signal an end to their excellent run this season.
M S Dhoni was superb in the eliminator against Mumbai. His innings singlehandedly changed the complexion of the game. Dhoni wasn’t confident going into the match, but stood up credibly when it mattered. Another thunderous all-round performance from Dwayne Bravo only reiterated his value to the team. Chennai will hope the WestIndian continues to come up with match-impacting exhibitions for a couple of more games.
Among the worries that exist for Chennai include the form of opener Murali Vijay, who has had too many low scores. Also, Suresh Raina hasn’t made any impression yet. Just like Kolkata retained Yusuf Pathan, Chennai too have stuck with Raina, but the time has come for the left-hander to deliver. As for the bowling, Ravichandran Ashwin must continue from where he left off against Mumbai. He has been susceptible under pressure though, and one feels sterner tests are awaiting him.
Chennai also need to utilize the services of Albie Morkel better with the bat. He has hardly faced a few balls, and still pulled off a couple of stunning heists.
In contrast to Dhoni, Virender Sehwag was exceptional halfway through the season. He needs to rediscover some of that lost touch. A blossoming Sehwag special could be enough for Delhi to sneak through to the final. Similarly, a lot will be expected fromhis opening partner David Warner as well. If Warner and Sehwag fire as a combo, there would be nothing better for Delhi. Mahela Jayawardene’s performance in the middle order will also be vital. The bowling department for Delhi will be led by Morne Morkel, who ought to be at his best. Also, the Indian duo of Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron needs to do better.
Sehwag Vs Hilfenhaus
Warner Vs Ashwin
Hussey Vs Morkel
Dhoni Vs Irfan Pathan
- By A Cricket Analyst