Three-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will face off against an upbeat Delhi Capitals (DC) side in the Qualifier 1 of IPL 2021 in Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday. Both the sides would look to iron out their flaws to bring their A game to enter straight into the finals.
Delhi Capitals to beat Chennai Super Kings @ 1.97
Delhi have been a force to reckon this season and there is no doubt that they have an upper hand over 3-time champions CSK entering into the Qualifier 1 of IPL 2021. They failed to win the coveted trophy after going down to Mumbai Indians (MI) in the last season and that can just provide the extra motivation to them to travel the distance this time around.
Shikhar Dhawan (544), Prithvi Shaw (401) and Rishabh Pant (362) have performed steadily with the bat, while the bowling unit has impressed again in the UAE. Avesh Khan with 22 wickets is the second highest wicket-taker in the IPL 14 for now, while Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Axar Patel have also struck on regular intervals.
For CSK, openers Faf du Plessis (544) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (533) have been their most decorated Yellow personnel. Moeen Ali has also made a handy contribution with the bat. Shardul Thakur with 18 scalps is the leading wicket-taker for the team and have been aided well by Deepak Chahar (13) and Dwayne Bravo (12).
The comparisons might be suggesting the two teams as equals but that isn't the case. The sharpness of DC bowlers can take the shine off the CSK batting unit. Also, the DC middle-order comprising of Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer and Shimron Hetmyer is any day better to CSK's which have Ambati Rayudu, Moeen Ali and out-of-form MS Dhoni in it.
Delhi look well set for their second IPL final on the trot.
Faf du Plessis to score over 23.5 runs @ 1.89
554 runs with five fifties at an average of 45.50 is the story of 37-year-old Faf du Plessis in the IPL 2021. The South African and his opening partner Ruturaj Gaikwad has single-handedly provided the impetus to the CSK batting. The former captain of the Proteas team has hit 0, 31, 43, 41, 25, 10 and 76 in the UAE leg.
Considering his form the swashbuckling right-hander is very much expected to shine against DC. Overall, du Plessis has scored 341 runs at an average of 28.42 in 13 matches against Delhi. He scored 10 runs against the opposition on October 4.
Rishabh Pant to score over 21.5 runs @ 1.89
Rishabh Pant is currently the third highest run-scorer for Delhi Capitals but the pocket sized dynamite has crossed the 50-run mark on only two occasions this season. He has 341 runs to his name at an average of 32.90 and strike rate of 127.01. From his six matches in the UAE leg, the 24-year-old has managed to score in excess of 30 on just two occasions (35* vs SRH and 39 vs KKR). It's clear that a big score has deluded the young captain of DC.
That said, it is also a well known fact Pant can make the match turn on its head in no time and that he is a big-match player. The stage is set for him to take the IPL 2021 playoffs by storm.