IPL 2019, Qualifier 2: One tactical move that Chennai Super Kings should make against Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals have certainly defied the expectations by reaching the playoffs for the first time after a gap of six years. The youth brigade will be locking horns against the experienced Chennai Super Kings in Vishakapatnam in IPL Qualifier 2 tonight. Being a make or break contest, both teams would be aiming to get their team combination and tactics right for the game.
Chennai Super Kings are a bit short on confidence, losing five out of their last seven matches. Though they have a superior head-to-head record against Delhi, it doesn't really matter on the matchday, especially in a Qualifier. Delhi need to punch above their weight in order to go past Super Kings. Chennai, on the other hand, would be gunning to take on Mumbai Indians in the IPL final by beating DC.
One problem that has been persisting right throughout the season for Chennai is the lack of runs from the top order. Game after game they have succumbed in the powerplay itself. They have the lowest average opening stand this season - 18. Barring an innings of 96 against Sunrisers Hyderabad and a 44 against Delhi, Shane Watson has struggled for runs this season. The seasoned campaigner has been woefully out of form and his dismissal in the powerplay puts tremendous pressure in the middle order.
Skipper MS Dhoni has persisted with Watson, despite his lacklustre form this season. Dhoni has always backed his experience and would be hoping that he would come good in a crunch match. His opening partner Faf du Plessis has played 10 matches and scored 320 runs. But both together have an average partnership of under 20 runs.
With Dhoni expected to not change his playing XI for the match, one thing he should consider doing is opening Watson with Murali Vijay and making Faf du Plessis play in the middle order. Vijay has a superb record in the playoffs and he has got starts in both matches that he has played. Vijay and Watson can help the team get off to a rollicking start in the powerplay. Du Plessis, on the other hand, can look to consolidate the innings the middle order. If needed, he can come ahead of an out of form Ambati Rayudu and hold the CSK innings together.
It would be interesting to see if CSK's master tactician Dhoni would look to make this change in tonight's match.