IPL 2021, Qualifier 1: Pant’s Delhi will face Mahi’s Chennai for a place in the final

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IPL 2021, Qualifier 1: Rishabh Pant’s DC meet MS Dhoni-led CSK for place in final

Backed by players with immense experience in playing big matches, Chennai Super Kings will start as a strong contender for victory against Delhi Capitals in the first qualifier of the Indian Premier League (IPL) to be held here on Sunday. Delhi team topped the league with 20 points and that shows the consistency in their performance.

Despite the tournament being postponed midway due to Kovid-19, Delhi maintained its consistency. Chennai have made it to the playoffs again after missing out last year. Out of the 12 IPLs he has participated in, his team has reached the playoffs 11 times. However, losing three matches in a row in the end would have been an exasperation for their captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Delhi also had to lose their last match.

Kona Bharat of Royal Challengers Bangalore shocked Delhi in this match by hitting a six off the last ball. This did not affect his condition but his confidence must have been shaken. Chennai has made it to the final eight times so far, out of which it has been the champion three times. This shows that the team has the ability to perform at its best in times of need.

Chennai has been relying on its age-old experienced players and doesn’t change its team too much. Ruturaj Gaikwad can be said to be an exception about whom it can be said that he is the first gift of Chennai Super Kings in the last decade. Dhoni’s principle is clear, trust those who have been tried, those who have experience and that is why his team has players like Ravindra Jadeja, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo and Faf du Plessis. Apart from these there are players of international level like Josh Hazlewood and Moeen Ali and former India captain Dhoni knows the kind of combination he wants.

Dhoni knows that he has not been in good form for a long time. He scored only 96 runs in 14 matches. IPL legend Suresh Raina too could manage only 160 runs in 12 matches but he has the likes of Gaikwad (533 runs) and du Plessis (546 runs) who have often given the team solid starts. Jadeja (227) has been showing his batting prowess in the last overs. Similarly, Shardul Thakur (18 wickets in 14 matches) has been doing wonders in the bowling but Dwayne Bravo (12 wickets) is always ready to make a useful contribution.

Hazlewood could not find form but Dhoni kept his faith in him. Delhi Capitals may have won 10 matches in the league stage but their batting did not show that confidence. Prithvi Shaw (401 runs) and Shikhar Dhawan (544 runs) played some good innings but their batsmen failed to dominate the UAE stage. Captain Rishabh Pant (362 runs) was able to perform well in pieces.

The balance of his team was disturbed due to the injury of Marcus Stoinis. Shimron Hetmyer played a good role in the death overs but no other batsman could do that. Delhi’s strong side is its bowling. Avesh Khan (22 wickets), Axar Patel (15 wickets), Kagiso Rabada (13 wickets) and Enrique Norkhia (nine wickets) have played their part very well so far.

Teams are as follows: Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, KM Asif, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, N Jagadeesan, Karn Sharma, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shardul Thakur, R Sai Kishore, Moeen Ali, K Gautam, Cheteshwar Pujara, Harishankar Reddy, Bhagat Verma, C Hari Nishant.

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Delhi Capitals: Rishabh Pant (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Prithvi Sauv, Ripple Patel, Shikhar Dhawan, Shimrom Hetmyer, Shreyas Iyer, Steve Smith, Amit Mishra, Anrique Norkia, Avesh Khan, Ben Dwarshuis, Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada, Kulwant Khejroliya , Lukman Meriwala, Praveen Dubey, Tom Curran, Umesh Yadav, Axar Patel, Lalit Yadav, Marcus Stoinis, Ravichandran Ashwin, Sam Billings and Vishnu Vinod. The match will start at 7.30 pm Indian time.


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