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With two wins and two losses under their belt the Chennai Super Kings, surfing in the lower half of the points table will be keen to register a win against the Delhi Daredevils. The Daredevils who are yet to win a game in the Pepsi Indian Premier League 2013 and are desperate to get across the line in their sixth match, after a few close finishes when they take the field on home turf.
Although they have lost five games on the trot, the hosts comprise of a line-up capable of turning the team’s fortunes around. Speaking about the Daredevils, CSK’s bowling coach Andy Bichel said, “I think they are still dangerous, they have nothing to lose from now on and probably and they will come out hard tomorrow. When you have a line-up like David Warner and Virender Sehwag at the front, you want to be on your game, because one of them can come off in situations like this.”
Reflecting on CSK’s run in the tournament so far and their loss to the Pune Warriors India, he said, “We haven’t played that well at home, that’s where we have lost our games, which is our fortress really. Conditions have varied a little bit to last year and we haven’t probably dealt with that. And in the last one we just did not executed our plans the way we have done in the first three matches. There is lot of room for improvement and (we are) obviously a new group as well. So we are sort of gelling together and getting used to each other which is an important thing as well.”
Speaking about one of the important cogs in the Kings’ line-up, Albie Morkel and his return to bowling, the bowling coach said, “(He will) hopefully (bowl) soon. He is a key player for us in our squad and brings with him a lot of experience. He had a great tournament in the domestic circuit in South Africa, so he is a player in form and he is a hard man to leave out of your team and that is probably why he came into side in the last game.” And though they are missing out on Morkel’s bowling and Ben Hilfenhaus’ services one of the new additions to the bowling attack, Chris Morris has contributed for the team. Speaking about the South African recruit, Bichel observed, “He has been exciting for us and he has delivered the way we expected him to do. He has done well for the Lions and he did bowl in the Champions League T20, 2012. He has been a good asset for us to replace a guy like Ben Hilfenhaus. So for building a nice platform for us upfront, someone to come in and do their job, Chris has turned out to be that man.”
After Micheal Husseys’ magnificent innings against Kings XI Punjab, but a low score against RCB, Srikkanth Anirudha who replaced him in the previous game was out for a duck. While speaking about the young Indian opener, the coach said, “He played well last year for us against Rajasthan, came in and played and excellent role for us. He is a guy who is being developed for that role. He has got a good opportunity, he got a good ball the other day, you are going to get that but he is definitely a player for our future and he has definitely got the skills to do it at this level. “
“It is about doing the basics of the game and sticking to the basics. This is what these young blokes are learning. I am sure Sachin Tendulkar is still doing the basics very well,” he added while speaking about performing in the tournament.
“This tournament is all about confidence and I think as you go through the tournament, some teams are good at the moment, playing well while other teams are trying to search for that and DD you know are lacking that now. This tournament is going to change throughout as we go on but I just see that more the confidence players get as the tournament goes on, that’s where you will see the best teams at the end,” he mentioned.
Asked about young talent that has caught his eye in the current edition of IPL so far, he said “One thing with this tournament is that it is getting better and better every year and we are seeing that with the young talent coming through. To name the players this early in tournament would be highly risky for me to do that but I do see good talent coming through. The way Virat Kohli is leading RCB that is something he has done before but I think he is doing a great job with that. Young leader in Indian cricket I think is important, it is an exciting tournament, the skills are getting better and better every year and it will only benefit Indian cricket.”
Delhi Daredevils and Chennai Super Kings, who have been at the receiving ends recently in their respective fixtures, feature in Match 24 of the Pepsi IPL 2013.
The Delhi Daredevils, who topped the table last season and were considered among the top contenders for the title prior to the start of the season, lie at the floor of the points table, having lost all their five matches. The team seems to be steadily and surely improving but the results don’t seem to be going their way.
In their last outing, they managed to claw their way back into the match but Royal Challengers Bangalore edged past them in the Super Over. On a positive note, the Daredevils will realise they still have six home fixtures remaining and if they win each one of those they will be well placed to compete for a place in the top four teams.
The Chennai Super Kings meanwhile are coming off a 24-run defeat, suffered at the hands of Pune Warriors India. Chasing a competitive 160, CSK struggled for momentum and only managed 135 in their 20 overs. The two-time champions generally play well at home, but they’ve lost two of their three home matches this season and will be keen to make up for those defeats on the road.
Thursday, April 18, 2013, 8 p.m
Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, Delhi
In David Warner, Virender Sehwag and Mahela Jayawardene, the Delhi Daredevils have a solid top-order. However, the team has struggled because the three are yet to fire in unison. On the day the trio gets their act together, there can be only one winner and Daredevils supporters will be hoping for that to happen sooner than expected.
CSK sorely missed the ever-reliable Michael Hussey in the previous match against the Pune Warriors. In the 20-over format it is important for teams to get off to a solid start and Michael Hussey’s presence at the top of the order gives CSK that reassurance. With Suresh Raina yet to make a substantial contribution, the burden falls on the shoulders of skipper MS Dhoni in the middle order.
MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings have won six of their ten contests against the Delhi Daredevils. Both teams were tied at two matches apiece after the first two seasons of the IPL. However since then CSK have held the upper hand winning four of the six matches.
Both teams held their home matches last season, but CSK got the better of DD in the Qualifier 2 which eliminated the Daredevils from the race to the final.
Chennai Super Kings’ Dirk Nannes needs three more wickets to become the top wicket-taker in the Twenty20 format. He has 214 wickets and three wickets will propel him ahead of Alfonso Thomas, who has 216 wickets in this format.
The Chennai Super Kings’ average score in the Power Play is 36 – that’s the lowest among all teams this season.
The Delhi Daredevils will stay put at home and play the second of their three back-to-back home matches against the Mumbai Indians on April 21. The Chennai Super Kings meanwhile head to Kolkata after this match on April 20.