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IPL 2019: Who will win the battle for the top spot between Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings?

ANALYST
Feature
887   //    30 Apr 2019, 20:25 IST

CSK won the previous encounter between the two teams (picture courtesy: BCCI/iplt20.com)
CSK won the previous encounter between the two teams (picture courtesy: BCCI/iplt20.com)

It’s the battle of the IPL 2019 table-toppers with Delhi and Chennai facing off in the humid city of Chennai. CSK were always expected to be where they are right now, but DC? No one ever really gave them a chance to reach these heights.

DC's biggest strength is probably the abundance of talent that the team possesses, with a host of promising youngsters. Their weakness has to be their impatience and impetuousness sometimes, which has even cost them games.

On the other hand, Chennai’s biggest strength is the presence of the man named Mahendra Singh Dhoni, as both batsman and captain. Their biggest weakness? It’s the absence of MS Dhoni; Chennai have lost all the matches he has not been part of.

The Delhi Capitals' perspective

Delhi's run in this tournament has been phenomenal (picture courtesy: BCCI/iplt20.com)
Delhi's run in this tournament has been phenomenal (picture courtesy: BCCI/iplt20.com)

Form guide: W W W L W

Will they make any changes? Should they make any changes? The team that played last time around was quite spin-heavy. And with Chennai supposed to be one of the stickiest pitches in the IPL, that should just be the way to go about things.

The player under the spotlight

The world saw a new Rishabh Pant against Rajasthan as he displayed a lot maturity and sensibility while at the same time was still able to execute his big shots. He failed again against RCB and would be looking to right the ship this time around.

Probable XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer (c), Rishabh Pant, Sherfane Rutherford, Colin Ingram, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Kagiso Rabada, Ishant Sharma, Sandeep Lamichhane

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The Chennai Super Kings perspective

Chennai would be looking to stamp their authority on the game (picture courtesy: BCCI/iplt20.com)
Chennai would be looking to stamp their authority on the game (picture courtesy: BCCI/iplt20.com)

Form guide: L W L L W

CSK are second on the IPL points table but their performances have taken a hit lately. Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja should ideally be making a return to the XI while Harbhajan Singh will likely get a game as well. Faf du Plessis is also expected to make a return to the squad.

The player under the spotlight

Du Plessis would be slightly agitated at Shane Watson getting preferred over him but that mostly comes down to the reputation the two have established over the years. Watson has been the more destructive of the two and will always be considered an X-factor player, which is why Du Plessis needs to perform in whatever chances he gets.

Probable XI: Shane Watson, Faf Du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayadu, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir

The pitch

It’s a sticky wicket at Chennai, which would make a high-scoring game unlikely. The teams could be targeting a 150 score to stay competitive.

Prediction

If Dhoni is playing, CSK would look to choke their opposition by keeping them under consistent pressure. DC have a decent slow bowling lineup as well but with Dhoni at the helm, you have to back CSK to win this one.

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