Twenty20 cricket has a funny way of deceiving the supporters and fans of the game, teams who are expected to win can belittle your integrity with a gruelling-defeat to an opposition side that has shown absolutely nothing whatsoever to indicate that a big upset is on the cards. This match is the perfect example of that, although the bottom-placed Daredevils defeated a strong Knight Riders outfit which does prove that anything is possible! Chennai on the other hand became one of Mumbai’s only two victims in the tournament on Saturday, the IPL is currently in its underdog-faze by the look of things.
Chennai’s attempt to keep their winning-streak rolling came to a somewhat-surprising end as the lowly-placed Mumbai Indians prevailed victorious over the Super Kings with the bat. That depth in the team that is often talked about frequently failed to budge the visitors who lost just two wickets in their run chase of 170 runs, Chennai’s bowlers were simply no match for the Mumbai Indians batsmen that night. It’s never easy to admit you were beaten by the better team on the night, especially given that Mumbai have had a shocking run in the iPL this season with just two wins in seven games. There’s no doubt that Chennai will regroup and wipe this loss from their memory banks, focusing on the task at hand against the bottom-placed Daredevils tomorrow night. With both Ambati Rayudu and Suresh Raina in immaculate touch with the willow and Dwayne Bravo finding his feet in the tournament with the ball, there’s plenty of upside for the Super Kings if they continue to strive for the very-best each game, tomorrow night is a huge opportunity to get back on the winners list. What has been noticeable over the past two games would have to be a number of individuals in the bowling attack losing their ability to take wickets. Deepak Chahar, Shane Watson and even Shardul Thakur are all down on their input with the ball, all three were very impressive to start the tournament but have since struggled to find that consistency. With Deepak Chahar ruled out for a couple weeks with a hamstring injury, the Super Kings might want to look at some experimentation. A conundrum I’ve been trying to figure out is; has Ravindra Jadeja become irrelevant in this Chennai Super Kings outfit this season? It appears he’s very-rarely required with the ball anymore, batting slightly-higher up the order but having not a lot of impact either, which raises the question ‘what is Jadeja in the team for specifically if he’s supposed to be one of the star players?’ The way I see it, his role in the team is the forgotten all-rounder.
If you’re a Delhi Daredevils supporter, you’d still be jumping for joy after a huge-upset against the Kolkata Knight Riders left the rest of the competition speechless, it was a feel-good story for Delhi more than anything after another tough start in 2018. Newly-appointed captain Shreyas Iyer must have left a reasonable impression on his teammates as their new leader took it upon himself to regain control of their IPL 11 campaign which had well & truly fallen off the rails, that was until the 23-year-old smashed an unbeaten 93 to set the Daredevils up for just their second win of the tournament. Iyer’s 40-ball spectacle included 10 sixes and 3 fours striking at 232.50, an absolute gem of an innings from a very talented individual. Let’s not forget Prithvi Shaw’s vital contribution of 62 at the top of the order, he’s replaced the out of form-Gambhir and hasn’t looked out of place since his inclusion into the XI. This could be the win that sees the Daredevils compete at a much higher standard for the rest of the tournament, positive signs from both all-rounder Glenn Maxwell and Black Caps X factor Colin Munro who made a swift return to the side as well. Finally the Daredevils look a threat in both areas of the game, it’s taken a while for their batting combination to sort itself out, but they can now go forward with some confidence knowing that this particular line-up has experienced some sort of success. As for the bowling unit, they’ve been pretty solid all tournament in terms of their output, some would say it’s saved them from going completely under in IPL 11. With 11 wickets in 7 matches, Trent Boult has led this Delhi attack superbly and continues to elevate his game as the tournament progresses. The New Zealand quick may have found a bowling partner in 21-year-old Avesh Kumar who’s picked up multiple-wickets since being selected in the Daredevils playing XI. Could we be seeing the return of the highly-dominant Amit Mishra? He’s been one of the IPL’s standout spinners in the past so it’s certainly not beyond him.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Chennai Super Kings | 30th match | Pune
- Ambati Rayudu
- MS Dhoni
- Dwayne Bravo
- Suresh Raina
- Imran Tahir
Wildcard pick – Ravindra Jadeja
Top 5 fantasy picks | Delhi Daredevils | 30th match | Pune
- Shreyas Iyer
- Glenn Maxwell
- Trent Boult
- Colin Munro
- Amit Mishra
Wildcard pick – Rishabh Pant
Chennai Super Kings
It’s been confirmed that seamer Deepak Chahar will miss the next two matches with a hamstring injury, possibly even longer depending on his recovery. Chennai could possibly go down the road of bringing in an overseas bowler to add a bit of life to their bowling attack, it’s been a bit lifeless in their past two outings in the IPL. The main candidates would be South African Lungi Ngidi and Englishman Mark Wood who both offer plenty of pace. If that were to happen, the Super Kings would have to drop one of Shane Watson or Sam Billings in order to free up an overseas spot in the side. Having played just the one game each in 2018, both Murali Vijay and Faf du Plessis could make their returns to the side in Pune tomorrow night.
This is a team who would be sick & tired of constantly changing their side game-after-game, and it appears for the first time that they could be in a position to retain the winning XI that defeated Kolkata on Saturday. There is still no sign of Daredevils quick Mohammed Shami making a return to the IPL, some personal problems seems to have interrupted his preparation and it remains highly-unlikely he’ll feature in tomorrow night’s match. Stepping down from the captaincy just recently for Delhi, Gautam Gambhir could remain out of the team for quite some time after Prithvi Shaw struck a half century against Kolkata in their last outing.
Chennai Super Kings (possible) – 1. Shane Watson/Faf du Plessis 2. Murali Vijay 3. Ambati Rayudu 4. Suresh Raina 5. MS Dhoni (c & wk) 6. Dwayne Bravo 7. Ravindra Jadeja 8. Harbhajan Singh 9. Lungi Ngidi/Mark Wood 10. Shardul Thakur 11. Imran Tahir.
Delhi Daredevils (possible) – 1. Prithvi Shaw 2. Colin Munro 3. Shreyas Iyer © 4. Rishabh Pant (wk) 5. Glenn Maxwell 6. Vijay Shankar 7. Rahul Tewatia 8. Liam Plunkett 9. Amit Mishra 10. Avesh Khan 11. Trent Boult.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.