On a high after a comprehensive nine-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings would continue their quest for a semifinal berth when they take on Delhi Daredevils in an Indian Premier League match on Thursday.
Both the teams have 12 points but Chennai’s better run rate has put them second behind Mumbai Indians in the points table. A win would all but confirm their place in the semifinals.
Going by performance, there have been considerable shifts and turns in both the teams’ fortunes with emphatic wins punctuated by pathetic losses but Chennai would have the home advantage in hot and humid conditions.
While both were favourites to make the semifinals, Delhi find themselves in a rather precarious position after having lost three successive matches.
The loss to bottom-placed Kings XI Punjab on home turf would have surely hurt Delhi’s morale and they would be looking for a better show.
They were undone by a couple of run-outs in the match against Punjab and would be hoping that the big-hitting David Warner, the usually reliable Paul Collingwood and explosive openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir strike big against Chennai.
If these batsmen perform in unison, Delhi would Chennai on the mat.
On the other hand, Chennai are likely to play with the same team that beat Kolkata last night. Their batting is no less intimidating but Australians Matthew Hayden and Mike Hussey and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni have not lived up to the expectations so far.
Delhi would be trying to settle the score for the loss to Chennai in their first outing at Kotla.
Chennai boast of a better bowling attack than Delhi as their Aussie pacer Doug Bollinger is in a fine form.
Though Muthiah Muralitharan has been proving costly, R Ashwin and Shadab Jakati have done well to support Bollinger.
Given the composition, the teams seem evenly matched and it would all boil down which of them manages to adapt better in the energy-sapping heat and humidity of the city.