Chennai Super Kings look to bounce back against a resurgent Delhi
Handed a shock defeat in their tournament opener, former champions Chennai Super Kings would be eager to bounce back against a resurgent Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Chennai lost to Kings XI Punjab by six wickets on Friday despite posting a mammoth 205. The two-time champions were found wanting in the bowling department as Punjab chased down the seemingly tough target with seven balls to spare.
Delhi, on the other hand, got their act together against Kolkata Knight Riders yesterday after the huge loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore in their opening match.
Image: Chennai players celebrate the fall of a wicket
McCullum and Smith looked in good touch
Super Kings' batting however seemed to be in good touch with openers Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum smashing fine half-centuries.
But the bowling fell apart spectacularly in the face of a brutal onslaught by Glenn Maxwell and David Miller. The pace of neither Ashish Nehra nor Mohit Sharma caused much discomfort to the rivals.
Even senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin failed to come good in Chennai's unexpected defeat. Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men will have to rethink their bowling combination going ahead as the one which took the field against Punjab lacked bite.
Image: Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith
Duminy has been impressive for Delhi
Delhi had also opened their campaign with a loss but recovered rather quickly by beating Kolkata.
Their batting, which produced a shoddy display in the absence of an injured Kevin Pietersen in the opening match, came across much better in the second game.
Highlights of the effort were half-centuries by captain Dinesh Karthik and South African import JP Duminy while chasing a fairly competitive 167 for victory. Pietersen, however, remains a doubtful starter for even Monday's game.
They too have their share of bowling woes to deal with and it could well be a batsmen's game when the two sides clash.
Image: JP Duminy