Chennai looking to keep play-off hopes alive
They might be upbeat after a narrow win but defending champions Chennai Super Kings' chances of making the playoffs are still far from good, as they take on tournament-leaders Delhi Daredevils in a crucial IPL match in Chennai on Saturday.
The four-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals on Thursday night came as a massive boost for the two-time defending champions, who are placed fourth in the table with 13 points with six wins and an equal number of losses from their 13 matches so far.
Even a win would not be enough for Chennai to make the next grade as five teams -- Delhi Daredevils, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab -- have four more matches to go.
Home conditions and fans support for Chennai
The Daredevils and Knight Riders enjoy the top twopositions with 18 and 17 points, respectively from 12 matches each and these two would have lesser problems in making the semifinal.
Delhi had emerged victorious the last time CSK clashed with them but given that Saturday's match is a home game for Chennai, the result could be different.
Delhi are ruling the roost thanks to consistence performances by captain Virender Sehwag with Australian import David Warner adding to their firepower.
Even though Sri Lankan Mahela Jayawardane and NewZealand's Ross Taylor have not been among the runs.
Home conditions and fans support will go in favour of Chennai, who boast of a better batting line up on paper and their bowlers have provided the required oxygen for winning matches.
Delhi's bowlers hold the edge
Chennai seem to be better chasers and have played to their potential after bowlers succeeded in restricting the rival batsmen.
But if Sehwag, Jayawardane, Taylor and Warner fire in unison and post a solid total, Delhi's bowlers Irfan Pathan, Nadeem Ahmed and Morne Morkel would hold the edge.
Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Capt & wk), Srikkanth Anirudha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Subramaniam Badrinath, George Bailey, Doug Bollinger, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Ben Hilfenhaus, Michael Hussey, Ravindra Jadeja,Shadab Jakati, Joginder Sharma, Suraj Randiv, NuwanKulasekara, Yo Mahesh, Albie Morkel, Suresh Raina, Wriddhiman Saha, Scott Styris, Sudeep Tyagi, Kuthethurshri Vasudevadas, Ganapathi Vignesh, Murali Vijay.
Delhi Daredevils: Virender Sehwag (Capt), KevinPietersen, Mahela Jayawardene, Ajit Agarkar, Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav, Puneet Bisht, Robin Bist, Naman Ojha (wk), Shahbaz Nadeem, Venugopal Rao, Vikas Mishra, Yogesh Nagar, Zafir Patel, Sunny Gupta, Tejashwi Yadav, Aavishkar Salvi, Kuldeep Raval, Manpreet Juneja, Pawan Negi, Prashant Naik,Aaron Finch, Andre Russell, Doug Bracewell, Glenn Maxwell, Gulam Bodi, Morne Morkel, Roelf van der Merwe.