Although the fixture between Delhi and Chennai in the Indian T20 League holds little significance with regards to the Playoff qualification, dare to think of it as another reason to hate Mondays at your own risk. The reason why both the teams have a guaranteed place in the final four is the fact that they both love winning and would ideally want to continue the momentum heading into the Playoffs. This in itself makes the fixture a mouth-watering prospect. Here is an analysis on which team enters this contest with a bit of an advantage based on the given factors:
1. Head-to-head record
As far as the overall head-to-head record is concerned, the two teams have locked horns a total of 25 times. But it is the Chennai side who have dominated the rivalry with as many as 15 matches. Delhi have won the remaining 9 matches. The record may not capture the entire picture though as Delhi have been more consistent in recent years.
2. UAE record
Since Delhi have been a force to reckon with in recent years, the UAE record might be a better indicator of how they might perform in this game. Overall as many as 3 matches between the two sides have happened in the Middle Eastern country and Delhi have won two out of their three matches here. In fact, in the Indian T20 League 2020 which was played entirely in UAE, Delhi beat Chennai on both occasions.
3. Recent form
Players of both teams have been in great form. While Ruturaj Gaikwad scored a hundred in the last match, Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu have all been fulfilling their responsibility. Even MS Dhoni finished off a chase with a six while Ravindra Jadeja has impressed with both the bat and ball so far in the 2021 season. Suresh Raina remains their only big reason to worry but given the depth they have, the Men in Yellow might continue to persist with him.
For Delhi, the big job has been to find the perfect replacement for Marcus Stoinis. While he was replaced by an India all-round India option in Lalit Yadav, they then went ahead with Steve Smith. Other than that, Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant provide for a great batting order studded with right and left-hand options. The form of Kagiso Rabada hasn't been up to the mark but the improvement Avesh Khan has shown has been exemplary.
Considering the factors mentioned above, the team of the day is Delhi.