DC aim to solve opening conundrum against CSK
Navi Mumbai: Delhi Capitals will need to solve their opening conundrum quickly and find an able partner to complement David Warner if they want to return to the top four in the IPL here on Sunday with a win against a lacklustre Chennai Super Kings, who are standing on the brink of elimination.
DC are currently placed fifth in the 10-team standings with 10 points from as many games after their 21-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in their last match.
Defending champions CSK, on the other hand, are mathematically still there in the tournament although their chances of making it to the play-offs are almost non-existent.
The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side is placed in the penultimate position with just six points from 10 games and need to win all its remaining games and depend on results of other matches to progress to the next stage.
But going into the business end of the tournament, DC have a major problem at hand -- an able opening partner for Warner.
Prithvi Shaw has failed to live up to his talent this season, garnering just 259 runs from nine games at an average of 28.77. His replacement in the last match, Mandeep Singh hasn't fared well either with just 18 runs from three outings.
And it remains to be seen whether DC opt for Shaw again to partner Warner, which in any case, would be best suited for the team.
Warner remains DC's top-scorer this season, scoring 356 runs from eight matches with his unbeaten 92 against SRH in the last match being the highest.
Skipper Rishabh Pant and Mitchell Marsh have got starts but have failed to replicate that into big scores and it's time the duo rises to the occasion.
After a string of low scores, the big-hitting West Indian Rovman Powell has finally found his groove and would look to continue in the same vein.
On the bowling front, spinner Kuldeep Yadav (18 wickets) and pacers Khaleel Ahmed (14), Shardul Thakur (10) and Mutafizur Rahman (8) all have picked up wickets but they have been a little on the higher side of the economy rate.
Kuldeep, in particular, has been phenomenal for DC, picking up wickets at will with his new-found confidence.
The return of pacer Anrich Nortje has only added sting to DC's bowling attack.
On the other hand, CSK have been hit hard by injuries and the poor form of some of their key players throughout the season hasn't helped their cause either.
While CSK lost key players Deepak Chahar and Adam Milne to injuries for the entire season, poor form of opener Ruturaj Gaikwad and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who relinquished captaincy midway into the tournament, has added to the team's woes.
Ambati Rayudu, Dhoni, Shivam Dube and Moeen Ali have played some good knocks on and off but lack consistency with only Devon Conway turning out to be the shinning light with the bat. The Kiwi has collected 144 runs from three matches he has played at an average of 72.
In the bowling front, Maheesh Theeksana, Mukesh Chaudhary and Dwayne Bravo have been among wickets but have leaked runs.
And CSK's bowling unit would look for an inspirational performance from any of its bowlers in the remainder of the tournament.
Delhi Capitals: Rishabh Pant (Captain), Ashwin Hebbar, David Warner, Mandeep Singh, Prithvi Shaw,Rovman Powell, Anrich Nortje, Chetan Sakariya, Khaleel Ahmed, Kuldeep Yadav, Lungi Ngidi, Mustafizur Rahman, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Kamlesh Nagarkoti,Lalit Yadav, Mitchell Marsh, Pravin Dubey, Ripal Patel, Sarfaraz Khan, Vicky Ostwal, Yash Dhull, KS Bharat and Tim Seifert.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (Captain), Ravindra Jadeja Moeen Ali, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Dwayne Bravo, Ambati Rayadu, Robin Uthappa, Mitchell Santner, Chris Jordan, Adam Milne, Devon Conway, Shivam Dube, Dwaine Pretorius, Maheesh Theekshana, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Tushar Deshpande, KM Asif, C Hari Nishaanth, N Jagadeesan, Subranshu Senapati, K Bhagath Verma, Prashant Solanki, Simarjeet Singh, Mukesh Choudhary.
Match Starts at 7:30 PM.