Cricket news - Injury-hit Delhi aim to extend their stay at the top

There's no clarity over Iyer's availability for the clash.

There's no clarity over Iyer's availability for the clash.

Having run into each other early in the season, the paths of both Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings have been contrasting. Delhi have double the points (12) that Chennai has in as many games (6) and are eyeing a spot in the play-offs, which Chennai is in danger of missing out if they continue to slip further.

Delhi managed to scrape a victory through against Rajasthan Royals but not a lot has changed for them from that win. The positives of the bowling attack being exceptional and Shikhar Dhawan upping his game apart, a lot of their problems that existed before the start of that game still remain. And all of them focus towards their injury concerns which was only exacerbated by Shreyas Iyer injuring his shoulder mid-game. With no clarity on the availability of Rishabh Pant as well, the injury plague that haunts Delhi Capitals will be their biggest trial of the season.

Chennai, on the other hand, have come closer to correcting their combinations and tactics through the season. It helped them win an important clash against Sunrisers Hyderabad which saw almost all of their key players meeting expectations.

The challenge against Delhi will be how they manage the match-ups. Last time around, Delhi were able to get a couple of important ones in their favour like using Axar Patel in the powerplay to get Shane Watson. But a lot has changed since then.

When: Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 19:30 IST

Where: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah

What to expect: The pitches in Sharjah have become considerably slower through the course of the tournament. The small boundaries will still favour the batsmen, but there's more than a semblance of an even contest. But yet again, this could mean that the team that bats first will be at a significant advantage in the absence of dew. The toss could play a crucial factor.

Team News

Delhi Capitals

Injuries have put paid to a lot of their best laid plans so far this season. To their credit, Delhi have managed to ride past these setbacks so far. But do they have enough of a back-up if they miss out on both Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant? Unlikely. Pant, with protective bands around his thigh, did a few fitness tests ahead of their previous game and looked in good spirits. If Iyer does miss out, there could be just a straight swap from the previous game.

Probable XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane/Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey/Shimron Hetmyer, Axar Patel, Kagiso Rabada, R Ashwin, Anrich Nortje, Tushar Deshpande

Chennai Super Kings

Why would you want to change a winning combination, especially after the group put in a win that pleased the captain a lot? Match-ups and the ground dimensions at Sharjah could be a factor, if CSK do go on to change. With Delhi potentially having four left-handers in the line-up, the extra leg spinner could make way for a batsman.

Probable XI: Faf du Plessis, Sam Curran, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Kedar Jadhav/Piyush Chawla, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Karn Sharma

Did you know

- An economy rate of 6.31 makes the spinners of Delhi Capitals the cheapest in IPL 2020

- Deepak Chahar has dismissed Prithvi Shaw four times in five innings. The only time he didn't manage to do so came earlier in the season when Shaw was Man of the Match.

What they said

"I told the boys I just want to keep them switched on for another week - we have got to keep pushing hard for these next couple of games. We've got CSK and then KXIP. I don't want us to get complacent and take things for granted at this stage of the tournament because things are going well. I think when things are going well, it's time to push that little bit harder, so that's what we will be doing for the next week but right now all of us are looking forward to every challenge that comes our way, and we feel that if we play our best cricket, then we're going to be hard to beat every game" - Ricky Ponting, Head Coach of Delhi Capitals.