Dhoni & Co to play first IPL qualifier game tomorrow

Chennai: Chennai Super Kings will be looking for their fourth IPL title as they take on mighty Delhi Capitals tomorrow in the first qualifier. Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders will play against each other Monday.

MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings finished the league stage at second spot with 18 points from 14 matches.

Faf du Plessis (546 runs), Ruturaj Gaikwad (533) and Moeen Ali (304 runs and 5 wickets), and Deepak Chahar (13 wickets) have been the top-performers for CSK this season.

Delhi accumulated 20 points from 14 matches with 10 wins and finished the league stage as table toppers.

The fast bowling trio of Anrich Nortje (9 wickets), Kagiso Rabada (13 wickets), and Avesh Khan (22 wickets) have been Delhi’s strength this season. Apart from pacers, Axar Patel (15 wickets) and Ravichandran Ashwin (5 wickets) have also done well with balls.

In batting, Shikhar Dhawan (544 runs) and Prithvi Shaw (401 runs) have been the top performers for Delhi.

Ganesh, a CSK fan, says, ‘It will be a tough game for CSK. They lost momentum. Openers should score and middle-order should come to form. Chahar has been leaking runs and Dhoni is struggling with bat.

However he says the team has big match players like Bravo, Faf and Bravo. A section of fans say DC is not in good shape. They lost their last game. It will be an even contest.

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir reckons CSK and South Africa batter Faf du Plessis has exceeded all expectations as a T20 cricketer in this edition of IPL. Gambhir’s remarks came after du Plessis played a fantastic knock in CSK’s last league-stage match against Punjab Kings, albeit in a losing cause.H onestly, if you ask me, yes (he has exceeded expectations), Gambhir said.The former KKR skipper said he never considered du Plessis to be a destructive T20 cricketer but he has proved him wrong by going all guns blazing season.


NT Bureau