CSK lock horns with DD in the IPL 2015 © IANS
CSK lock horns with DD in the IPL 2015 © IANS

The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) begin their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 campaign with a home game against the Delhi Daredevils (DD). This is CSK’s fortress and if DD are to breach it and emerge victorious, they need to play some great cricket. It will not be an easy task for DD though, for they hav e a new side looking to strike a balance, whereas CSK remain the dangerous and successful unit under the leadership of MS Dhoni. CSK in IPL 2015: Kings of consistency look to rule again

CSK have a few new additions to their line-up but should continue to persist with their settled unit. With Michael Hussey back in the line-up, there may be a toss-up between him and Dwayne Smith for the opening spot. Brendon McCullum is in great form and will continue to be their key batsman at the top. Faf du Plessis could be an important asset in the middle order followed by the all-round presence of Dwayne Bravo. IPL 2015, Chennai Super Kings (CSK): A statistical preview

But, perhaps it is the addition of Irfan Pathan that adds balance to the Chennai side, giving them the extra fast bowling option to back Mohit Sharma and Ishwar Pandey. It would be interesting to see how Chennai pick their side as they have these new faces to accommodate. Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are the spinners in the unit and should hold on to their spots. IPL 2015: Irfan Pathan hopeful of fitting into any role offered by CSK

But then there is a Pawan Negi, who did well during the Champions League T20 (CLT20) victory last year. These all-rounders give Chennai balance and they will have to pick the right formula. They also have Rahul Sharma as another spin bowling option. IPL 2015: Michael Hussey ready to play any role for Chennai Super Kings

Suresh Raina and Dhoni will continue to be their game-changers. At No. 3, Raina is the enforcer and donning the yellow jersey brings about this attacking and fearless side to his batting. Dhoni will be the floater and the finisher, to back his captaincy.

Coming to DD, they have to find the right unit soon. Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan bring a lot of experience to the table and have to be used well. Yuvraj adds to the middle order with skipper JP Duminy. Zaheer will help guide the likes of Mohammed Shami  and Jaydev Unadkat. Amit Mishra’s inclusion gives them a good spin bowling option and he may usurp Shahbaz Nadeem’s spot. But, will they play two leggies with Imran Tahir already in the mix? MS Dhoni calmer captain than Michael Clarke and Brendon McCullum, says Michael Hussey

The other interesting thing about DD is the depth in their Indian squad. Manoj Tiwary, Saurabh Tiwary and Kedar Jadhav present good options and one wonders whom they would pick. Mayank Agarwal and Quinton de Kock may open the batting, but it may be no surprise if Manoj Tiwary is asked to do the job. Angelo Mathews is unavailable for this game as the Sri Lankan players aren’t being allowed to play in Chennai. IPL 2015 Auction: Full list of players bought by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for IPL 8

To sum up, this game is more about DD finding the right combination to begin the tournament. It is  a fresh start for them and it being against CSK makes it a little tougher. CSK have no problems as such, and will only focus on accommodating the right spots. IPL 2015: CSK, KKR, RCB, KXIP, MI, RR, SRH, DD full team details in IPL 8

Squads:

Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (c&wk), Michael Hussey, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo, Irfan Pathan, Ravindra Jadeja, Mithun Manhas, Pawan Negi, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohit Sharma, Ishwar Pandey, Matt Henry, Rahul Sharma, Andrew Tye, Ashish Nehra, Pratyush Singh, Ankush Bains, Ronit More, Baba Aparajith, Eklavya Dwivedi, Samuel Badree, Kyle Abbott.

Delhi Daredevils: JP Duminy (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Mayank Agarwal, Manoj Tiwary, Yuvraj Singh, Saurabh Tiwary, Angelo Mathews, Kedar Jadhav, Imran Tahir, Amit Mishra, Shahbaz Nadeem, Zaheer Khan, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammed Shami, CM Gautam, Gurinder Sandhu, Jayant Yadav, Albie Morkel, Srikar Bharat, Marcus Stoinis, Dominic Joseph Muthuswamy, Shreyas Iyer, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Karapak Jiyas, Travis Head.

Time: 20:00 IST | 02:30 GMT