Date: 10 April 2021
Time: 7:30 PM (IST)
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Live Ball-by-Ball Commentary: SportsTiger App
It is the Indian Premier League time again!! And amid all the negativity and health concerns brought about by the outbreak of the dreaded Coronavirus, fans and cricket lovers around the world will find an escape and hope to draw some positivity and inspiration from the biggest T20 fest on the planet. After the tournament opener between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore, it will be the Chennai Super Kings who will take on the Delhi Capitals in match number 2 of IPL 2021.
While Delhi have had a remarkable change of fortunes ever since they rebranded themselves as the Capitals finishing third and second in 2019 and 2020 respectively, they would hope that they can continue to progress to clinch their maiden title this year. However, with Shreyas Iyer not available for the entire tournament, DC will have to fine tune their planning. With a fearless Rishabh Pant at the helm this year, who knows perhaps they can even go the distance this year.
As far as Chennai are concerned, they had a forgettable season last year failing to make it to the playoffs for the first time in IPL history. But with MS Dhoni, the Thala, as the captain one would expect yet another strong comeback from the Men in Yellow. But the question would be whether the likes of Suresh Raina, who missed IPL 2020 and Dhoni himself, who had a poor season last year by any standards, could turn it around and deliver what's expected from them.
The game against Delhi, also being touted as a battle between a disciple (Pant) and his teacher (Dhoni) would be the first hint of what's going on inside both Pant and MSD's mind even though loads of experience and international and IPL titles differentiate the two captains.
Chennai Super Kings:
Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis (overseas), Ambati Rayudu, Robin Uthappa, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Cheteshwar Pujara, C Hari Nishaanth, MS Dhoni (C), N Jagadeesan, Dwayne Bravo (overseas), Ravindra Jadeja, Karn Sharma, Moeen Ali (overseas), K Gowtham, Sam Curran (overseas), Mitchell Santner (overseas), K. Bhagath Varma, Imran Tahir (overseas), Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Lungi Ngidi (overseas), Josh Hazlewood (overseas), KM Asif, R Sai Kishore, M Harishankar Reddy
Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Shimron Hetmyer, Steve Smith, Ripal Patel, Rishabh Pant (C), Sam Billings, Vishnu Vinod, Marcus Stoinis, Chris Woakes, Axar Patel, Tom Curran, Lalit Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Amit Mishra, R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Avesh Khan, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Pravin Dubey, Lukman Meriwala, M Siddharth
Raina pulling out of IPL 2020 was a massive blow to CSK last year. However, he is back and his form will not only be the key to this game but could even decide the fate of Chennai this year. If Raina fails to perform in that top order, Chennai will struggle to find the right balance. It would also be interesting to see whether he can roll his arms over and give Dhoni another bowling option.
R Ashwin loves to make the ball do the talking. In fact, Raina vs Ashwin could well be the player battle to watch out for in the opening fixture, given Ashwin's impressive record against the left-handers. In the absence of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje in the first game, Ashwin will be responsible of leading the DC attack and providing them breakthroughs in crucial situations.
Chennai Super Kings:
Robin Uthappa/ Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plesis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Moeen Ali, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo
Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Steve Smith, Rishabh Pant, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel/Amit Mishra, Ravichandran Ashwin, Chris Woakes, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav