Chennai hoping to beat Delhi and seal play-off berth
Comfortably placed atop the league table, Chennai Super Kings will focus on sealing a play-off berth, after an abrupt loss, when they take on lowly Delhi Daredevils in their own den in Tuesday's Pepsi IPL match in Chennai.
The Daredevils, already out of contention for a berth in the play-offs, have only pride to play for against the mighty opponents at the MA Chidambaram stadium.
Chennai, with 10 victories and four loses from 14 matches, have virtually advanced to the play-off stage of the tournament.
Their form took a bit of a tumble when CSK, who have won the title twice before, suffered a five-wicket defeat to Rajasthan Royals on Sunday night.
Chasing 142 for victory, the Royals lost three wickets inside five overs before Shane Watson played a blistering knock of 70 off just 34 balls to end the match in dramatic fashion with 17 balls to spare.
Image: Chennai Super Kings players
Wake-up call for CSK
It was a wake-up call for CSK, and they are expected to bounce back given the presence of high-profile and in-form players in their ranks.
Except for a few loses, Chennai haven't put a foot wrong. The batting line-up, comprising Michael Hussey, Suresh Raina and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, is the envy of other IPL outfits.
In the bowling department, the team boasts of the likes of Albie Morkel, Mohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Chris Morris and Dwayne Bravo. All of them have done their bit and should be quite a handful for the Delhi batsmen.
On the other hand, the Daredevils, placed second-last in the points table with as many as 10 defeats from 13 games, have nothing to lose.
Given the current scenario, they can play without any pressure. There is no burden of expectation on the misfiring batsmen and out-of-sorts bowlers. They now can just go on to play party-poopers.
Image: Mike Hussey with MS Dhoni (right)
Delhi's top order has failed
Delhi's top order failed for inexplicable reasons. Neither Virender Sehwag nor captain Mahela Jayawardene lived up to their reputation. Australian left-hander David Warner is the only one who has done his bit.
Promising players Unmukt Chand and Ben Rohrer have also failed to make an impression. As far as their bowling is concerned, it has not been able to fire in unison.
The likes of Morne Morkel, Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav and Shahbaz Nadeem need to come up with splendid performances to pose a challenge to a strong CSK unit.
Daredevils coach T A Sekhar is aware of the condition of the Channai pitch and would look to deploy the best combination possible. Fans will pray to the weather gods to keep the rain away as there is a cyclone threat looming large.
Image: Virender Sehwag