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By Shrikant Shankar
Apr 20, 2014
After suffering a loss in their opening game, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) clash with the Delhi Daredevils (DD) in the eighth match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 at Abu Dhabi on Monday. The Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi will be the venue for the match. Delhi have a win and a loss from their two matches so far in the IPL 7.
Irrespective of the results, a win is of paramount importance for either team. Chennai batted very well against Kings XI Punjab on April 18. They amassed a total of 205 for four in their 20 overs. All their batsmen in the top order — Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni — got some runs under their belts. But little did they expect that those runs will be chased down with relative ease. Their bowling will have to be questioned as Punjab won the match in 18.5 overs.
Almost all of them gave away far too many runs as their economy-rates were beyond 10 runs an over. Ashish Nehra was the only bowler who had an economy-rate of eight runs an over. Mohit Sharma was terribly exposed. Pawan Negi is not experienced enough and Dwayne Smith is not a regular bowler. All of them went for 12 an over. Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were also expensive, but they have proved it in the past that they can get it right more times than not.
Chennai might look to tweak their bowling attack a little bit. The main issue they might face in that respect is they have good options in their bowling department, but mostly in their foreign contingent. Chennai’s foreign batsmen are at the moment important. They have Smith and McCullum, who did exceptionally well with the bat. Then there is Faf du Plessis as well. They also have Dwayne Bravo, who is their best all-rounder. The talented bowlers Chennai have are Matt Henry, John Hastings, Samuel Badree and Ben Hilfenhaus. So, they have some decisions to take.
Delhi, on the other hand, have had mixed results in the IPL so far. Both the matches they were involved in have seen modest scores. Against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), only JP Duminy and Ross Taylor got amongst the runs. Their bowling was not good enough to exert much pressure on the star-studded RCB batting line-up. In the second match against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), their bowlers began well but could not stop the opposition’s middle-order batsmen from scoring the runs.
Duminy was again the star batsman for Delhi and was aided by stand-in captain Dinesh Karthik. Overall, it was not too high a score and Delhi won with three deliveries to spare. Kevin Pietersen’s fitness is key for Delhi as well. Apart from being the captain, he is their best batsman. On paper, Chennai still look a better unit, but it will be a closer match than that as Delhi have the confidence going with them due to their victory in the previous match.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina, Francois du Plessis, Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum, Ashish Nehra, Mohit Sharma, Ishwar Pandey, Ben Hilfenhaus, John Hastings, Samuel Badree, Matt Henry, Mithun Manhas, Vijay Shankar, Ronit More, Baba Aparajith, Pawan Negi.
Delhi Daredevils: Kevin Pietersen (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), JP Duminy, Ross Taylor, Mayank Agarwal, Murali Vijay, Manoj Tiwary, Saurabh Tiwary, Milind Kumar, Jimmy Neesham, Mohammed Shami, Jaydev Unadkat, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jayant Yadav, Rahul Shukla, Wayne Parnell, HS Sharath, Laxi Ratan Shukla, Kedar Jadhav, Siddharth Kaul, Rahul Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Time: 20:00 IST | 14:30 GMT
(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)
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