Chennai look for revenge against Delhi
Match factsMay 2, 2009
Start time 4.45pm (1445GMT, 2015 IST)
Big PictureRajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings have struggled for consistency so far, and Kings XI Punjab lost their first two games before warming up. Which means only Delhi Daredevils are the semi-finalists from last year who have continued with where they left off. Their crowning achievement came in their last match, beating Deccan Chargers who looked like continuing their unbeaten run. Now Delhi have a chance to go one better to get to the top of the table for the first time.
To do so they will have to beat a resurgent-looking team, and fellow semi-finalists from last year, Chennai. If Chennai win it will be their second in a row, and revenge for the royal bashing they were handed by Delhi in their first match. AB de Villiers' century, the only one of the tournament so far, will be fresh in their minds.
Suresh Raina almost wiped off that dubious honour by scoring 98 in their best performance of the season, against Rajasthan, but Chennai will need to put in such performances on a more consistent basis.
Form guideDelhi Daredevils (last 5 completed games) - WLWWW
Their openers can lay claim to being the best opening combination in all forms of international cricket, but in the last four matches the opening partnership between Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir has averaged only 15.25. They need to stand up.
Chennai Super Kings (last 5 completed games) - WLLWL
They have relied almost exclusively on Matthew Hayden and Suresh Raina for their runs. After the 216 and 200 of Hayden and Raina, the next best for them has been MS Dhoni's 101.
Watch out forde Villiers v Murali: During his century, de Villiers played 10 balls from Muttiah Muralitharan, accorded him due respect, and took only 12 runs. There were no big hits. But Murali will still concede round one to de Villiers because the batsman survived him and punished the others.
Friendly fireSehwag v Dhoni: India's vice-captain v India's captain. Both are irresistibly good on their day. Sehwag enjoys a lot of banter with Dhoni in the nets, mainly because Dhoni has changed his game for the team and cut out the risks. So whenever he goes for a big hit during training, Sehwag doesn't fail to remind him the last time he hit that unabashed a shot out in the middle. It will be interesting how they react when on two different sides.
Team newsDelhi really have no reasons to change the combination that beat Deccan in their previous game, unless Manoj Tiwary is fit again and they want him back for Mithun Manhas, who scored an unbeaten 23 off 16 last match.
Delhi: (probable) 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Virender Sehwag (capt), 3 AB de Villiers, 4 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 5 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 6 Mithun Manhas, 7 Daniel Vettori, 8 Amit Mishra, 9 Pradeep Sangwan, 10 Dirk Nannes, 11 Ashish Nehra.
One of Chennai's newcomers in the last game, Sudeep Tyagi bowled two overs for eight runs and should stay. But the other, Shadab Jakati neither got to bat nor bowl. Would they want to go back to either Joginder Sharma or Manpreet Gony? Chennai may also consider dropping one of the foreign allrounders to get Makhaya Ntini in to strengthen the pace bowling.
Chennai: (probable) 1 Parthiv Patel, 2 Matthew Hayden, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 MS Dhoni (capt/wk), 5 Albie Morkel, 6 Jacob Oram, 7 S Badrinath, 8 Shadab Jakati/Joginder Sharma/Manpreet Gony, 9 L Balaji, 10 Sudeep Tyagi, 11 Muttiah Muralitharan.
Head-to-head recordApart from that century from de Villiers, Chennai were brutalised by Sehwag's power hitting in their first match. Their second game was a last-ball win for Chennai. If the teams can repeat such a result, it will make for some watching.
Sidharth Monga is a staff writer at Cricinfo