With the Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Daredevils starting IPL 6 with indifferent form, I’m tipping a close contest in today’s game.
Both sides need a win to get things rolling though Delhi's need for the two points is clearly greater. CSK will not be happy with their showing thus far, especially considering their strong history in the competition.
Batting has emerged as a key issue for them, particularly the opening partnership, which is so crucial to setting the right platform. I’d like to see Stephen Fleming stick with Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay, who were superb recently against Kings XI Punjab.
Confidence is everything in T20 and these two will benefit from a bit of faith, particularly as they have already shown a good understanding between one another in Mohali. Bowling tight to finish off matches is also the mark of a championship team, something their line-up needs to correct.
All is not lost for the Super Kings though, who still have the luxury of welcoming back Francois du Plessis. ‘Faf’ was outstanding last season and has gone on to captain South Africa in the T20 format, but other guys need to step up in his absence.
Delhi are propping up the competition with zero wins from five games, which has surprised me, particularly considering the strength of their roster. Despite their poor results, I thought they were unlucky to lose a tight one against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Tuesday night and can see them taking confidence from that performance.
Umesh Yadav and Irfan Pathan impressed me at different times with the ball, with the latter also batting aggressively in the Super Over to try and chase victory.
One thing that is clear is the reliance on their top order, who need to fire early to set a defendable target. If they fail, the team seems to follow.
Jayawardene and Sehwag are top players with lots of experience, but for me David Warner is the key, with the big hitting left hander not far away from hitting his straps. I thought he looked good early-on against RCB before falling to a terrific return catch from Vinay Kumar.
There’s not much between these two under-performing sides, but I see Chennai winning a close one to compound Delhi’s agony.
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