Match#56- Chennai Super Kings v/s Delhi Daredevils
MA Chidambaram stadium, Chepauk, Chennai
Form: CSK- Win, Loss, Win, Loss, Loss, Win, Win, Win, Win, Loss, Win,
DD- Loss, Loss, Win, Loss, Win, Loss, Loss, Win, Loss, Win, Loss,
If you analyze Delhi’s win-loss record at the moment- no other team has managed such a perfectly paced ratio. As ridiculous as it may sound, DD have not lost more than 2 games in a row. Hard to believe- but that is what you call ‘spacing’ your mediocrity.
On the other hand, we have CSK, who have not won more than 4 in a row. Shame. And they call themselves Champions? Ha. You’d rather me a Mumbai Indian, win 7 in a row for 2 years running and STILL not win the title. Right?
Chennai Super Kings: (Winners 2010, Finals 2008, Semi finals 2009)
Hussey clicked. So did Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina and MSD- all in one innings. As it turned out to be- even the Heavens could not rescue the Royals from a resounding loss after that. As expected, the Champions have turned it on after a minor blip against KKR- and are looking set to reach the playoffs. But they could finish 3rd or 4th at the moment- because of their poor start, with RCB and KKR not slipping up majorly yet. Facing the Daredevils could be a bit tricky- much like chasing a score of around 120. Do you play safe or go for it? ‘Two minds’ and all that Shastri says- holds true for this situation.
But when you look at the CSK team line-up right now- especially with Bravo getting an opportunity too, even the Mumbai Indians will be saying their prayers, considering the venue of the final game.
Chepauk. At Home. For the champs. Yes, we are taking it for granted at the moment- they WILL reach YET another final. With Dhoni at the helm, can anyone think otherwise? It is hard to even crack a joke about this well-rounded team. Except Jakati’s butterfingers and the ‘inclusion’ of Saha, there is nothing ridiculous about this squad. Other than its annoying consistency.
Eliminating Randhiv and Anirudha has not made a world of a difference to CSK- in fact, they should consider bringing in Southee, Faf (where is he?), Joginder Sharma (being the season of Sharmas), Yo Mahesh, Kulasekera and even Scotty Styris. Second string?
Player to watch out for: Dwayne Bravo
He may/may not get a game in the playoffs- but he will definitely be playing the next few league games- being inconsequential and all. Flying around the world for just 4 games may not makemuch sense- but if you look at the state of affairs of the WICB right now, even flying to Lanka for their new ‘league’ will not seem ridiculous. Bravo, Dwayne- for a Mumbai to Chennai switch. Smart buness, indeed.
Delhi Daredevils: (Semi finals 2008, 2009)
So things have finally fallen into place. Delhi tried their level best to emulate the K-040000 performance of Kochi against Deccan- and duly have a DD-2111 to their credit now. Yes, their top order sensationally did what was always expected of them (after a prolonged one-game break) against their famous tormentors Mumbai. Even then, It was Sehwag who top scored with 2- when the score read 7-4 at one point. No amount of runs or ‘building up’ matters after such starts, when defeat is the only option- and only the path to that inevitable option varies. DD decided to look a bit more respectable, with Rao and Hopes soldiering on and really playing out one of the most boring draws in T20 history. Losses, I mean.
Surrender for Sehwag
Now with their hopes of making the ‘PLAYOFFS’ (coincidental to western terminology, I’m sure) firmly put to rest, DD can now play some fearless and ridiculous cricket- not unlike what they have been doing till now. Maybe take it to another level, like opening the batting with Pathan and the bowling with Agarkar?
Oh, he opens the bowling anyway? Right then.
Either way, with their middle order finally proving themselves to be better than their neighbours Punjab’s middle-order, DD can now concentrate on the battle well and truly within their reach- a target more realistic- the Spooner battle. As usual, things down the table are heating up much more than the boring higher-order battle (Mumbai, bah! Mood killers)- and expect mediocrity to explode in your faces in the form of colorful sparkling fireworks when Punjab, Delhi, Deccan and Pune take the field.
Of course, facing the Champions right now will seem like a perfect time to stake their claim to this title, but they can also turn out to be the mandatory-for-every-tournament-to-make-it-seem-exciting PARTY-POOPERS. Thanks, Ravi Shashtri, you gem you!
Player to watch out for: Ajit Agarkar
When you recover from rolling on the floor in peals of laughter after seeing this name make this category, please consider the situation: Morkel has just been hit out of the South-African team (by a Blizzard) and Hopes inspires anything but his name with his part-time Watsoners. With (gulp) Irfan Pathan looking like the best bowler right now, it is upto Ajit Agarkar to do what he has always done best- whatever the situation (read economy rate of 3 or 13)- take WICKETS. With Pathan shyly refusing to capture more than one large scalp a game, the old Mumbai lad who has a record to his name that even SRT does not have, in batsmanship no less (Century at Lords, could you? Huh? Huh?)- will want to waltz into the twilight of the third twilight of his slinging career with grace and respectability. The wickets of Raina and Bardinath will help immensely.
A Massive upset. Chennai might just rest easy- and hand over Delhi an easy face-saving win.
Wait, no Sehwag? Surgery? News just in? Out for IPL 2011?
Okay, scrap everything. A THUMPING CSK WIN. No questions asked.