Who doesn’t enjoy a good old fashion dead rubber? If you’re not a fan of them however, I recommend having an early night as the bottom-placed Daredevils host the in-form Chennai Super Kings who are coming off an enormous high after defeating Hyderabad by 8 wickets. There’s still plenty to play for from both teams perspectives, it might sound like a bit of a cliché but there is an element of truth to it. Chennai have already qualified for the playoffs, Delhi on the other hand will be motivated to pull off a huge upset which would give the home crowed something to cheer about.
With the IPL winding down for yet another season, the Delhi Daredevils would look back on the tournament and ask themselves what on earth went wrong. Some would argue that the injury to South Africa’s Chris Morris along with the horrible form slump Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell found himself in didn’t do them any favours, two very-valid points which many have contributed to Delhi’s misfortunes in 2018, but certainly not the entire reason they finished last. If we’re going to play the blame game, there’s plenty of candidates in that argument starting with former Knight Riders star batsman & former captain Gautam Gambhir. His services for Delhi this season backfired big time playing just the six matches and averaging a mediocre 17 with the bat. Both International T20 superstars in their own rights, England’s Jason Roy and New Zealand’s Colin Munro were two epic failures in this year’s IPL given what they’ve achieved throughout their careers so far. To the Daredevils local flavour, I salute you. Rishabh Pant, captain Shreyas Iyer and even the newly-discovered Prithvi Shaw have combined as a core batting group to keep Delhi’s head above the water in IPL 11. If I’m to single out one of those individuals, it has to be Rishabh Pant who’s just about tripled his value this season in terms of his on field efforts. Pant is set to finish on 600+ runs with a 50+ average by the end of the tournament, that breathtaking 128 not out against Hyderabad will be forever remembered as the greatest knock of IPL 11. Trent Boult has put in a tireless amount of effort with the ball for the Daredevils this year, he’s collected 15 wickets and has played every single match in IPL 11 so far. If Chennai elect to play a full-strength side it could be a blood bath, on the other hand Delhi has been showing some fight and could take it to MS Dhoni & his charges.
It’s full steam ahead for the Chennai Super Kings as they charge towards the playoffs in spectacular touch. Ambati Rayudu capped off what has already been a prolific IPL for him with a maiden-ton in the franchise, Mumbai would be looking back and asking themselves why they didn’t stick with the 32-year-old who’s had a breakout season for the Super Kings. Shane Watson who has already racked up a century in IPL 11 and MS Dhoni who is averaging a whopping 103.25 with the bat this season look in ominous touch for Chennai, throw Suresh Raina who hasn’t been at his prolific run-scoring best into that mix and all of a sudden they’re looking pretty complacent to take out the title. You know what you’re going to get from all four of those players, they all have the capability to win a game off their own bats which raises the question, why don’t other teams in the comp go after superior batting line-ups such as Chennai’s? They’re what we call a luxury side, not many teams would leave out Faf du Plessis or Imran Tahir if they had those two at their disposal. They’ve been so successful in IPL 11 that they’ve barely required the likes of Sam Billings, Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja with the willow, those three are genuine strikers who can do as much damage as their first tier batsmen when set. Key seamer Deepak Chahar made a successful return against Hyderabad, conceding just 16 runs from his four overs as well as claiming the big wicket of Alex Hales. Medium pacer Shardul Thakur also looks set to play an integral part with the ball for the Super Kings heading into the this year’s playoffs, he’s taken 11 wickets in nine games at a healthy strike rate. Imran Tahir would have to be in contention for tomorrow night’s encounter against his former IPL side, apart from that the Super Kings have shown a huge amount of faith in their team structure and won’t be persuaded to change a whole with the playoffs in sight.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Delhi Daredevils | 52nd match | Delhi
- Rishabh Pant
- Trent Boult
- Amit Mishra
- Shreyas Iyer
- Vijay Shankar
Wildcard pick – Colin Munro
Top 5 fantasy picks | Chennai Super Kings | 52nd match | Delhi
- MS Dhoni
- Ambati Rayudu
- Suresh Raina
- Shardul Thakur
- Deepak Chahar
Wildcard pick – Dwayne Bravo
Delhi Daredevils (possible) – 1. Prithvi Shaw 2. Jason Roy/Colin Munro 3. Shreyas Iyer © 4. Rishabh Pant (wk) 5. Vijay Shankar 6. Abhishek Sharma 7. Junior Dala/Dan Christian 8. Harshal Patel/Avesh Khan 9. Amit Mishra 10. Sandeep Lamichhane 11. Trent Boult.
Chennai Super Kings (possible) – 1. Shane Watson 2. Ambati Rayudu 3. Suresh Raina 4. MS Dhoni (c & wk) 5. Sam Billings 6. Dwayne Bravo 7. Ravindra Jadeja 8. Harbhajan Singh/Karn Sharma 9. David Willey/Imran Tahir 10. Deepak Chahar 11. Shardul Thakur.