On Friday, Delhi Daredevils did not look like the side that had just one win in six games. They did not look like they have had troubles with their batting line-up this season. They looked like they were a team that was strong not just on paper. It seemed like they were announcing their late but not-too-late arrival.
Shreyas Iyer, Daredevils' new captain was their pillar in the match against Kolkata Knight Riders. He took his bottom-placed side to the highest total of this season as he made the highest score by a captain on debut. He effortlessly took on the pacers and the wristspinners as his ex-captain Gautam Gambhir cheered him on from the dugout. Even his move to drop Gambhir and give Colin Munro and Prithvi Shaw a go as the new opening pair worked wonders.
Daredevils will be flying to Pune to meet Chennai Super Kings, who were most recently handed an eight-wicket thrashing by a refreshed Mumbai Indians.
While Dhoni offered the usual "we were 10-15 short" quote after the loss, their bigger issue was the bowling. They have conceded at an economy of 9.38 after the Powerplay, the worst this season after Royal Challengers Bangalore. They also have the second worst economy rate in the death overs.
So far this season, their batting has bailed them out whenever their bowlers had let them down. Their loss against Mumbai might not have disturbed their place in the table, but they have a lot of contemplating to do on their bowling inefficiencies in just a day's time.
In the news
In the previous game, Mumbai rightly introduced Krunal Pandya in the fifth over to take advantage of Shane Watson's struggle against slow left-arm spinners. In the IPL since 2015, Watson has been dismissed 12 times by slow left-armers and averages just 9.3 against them.
Super Kings could rope in David Willey in place of the out-of-form Sam Billings. Billings has scored just 24 runs in his last four innings and has also shown signs of struggle against spinners, giving away his wicket three times to them. Willey scores at a strike rate of 170.6 in the middle overs and 157.5 in the death overs in T20s since 2015. They could also use his left-arm inswingers to add a new dimension to their pace attack. He has taken 43 wickets at 24.3 in Powerplays while maintaining an economy of 7.4 in the same time period.
Stats that matter
Ravindra Jadeja has had a poor run this season, continuing his trend of declining influence on results in recent IPLs. He has bowled just 10 overs in seven games this season and has picked just one wicket as compared to the 2015 season where he picked 11 wickets in 15 innings. However, it is interesting to note that in CSK's two losses this season, Dhoni had not bowled Jadeja.
Shreyas Iyer will be looking to score his fourth consecutive 50-plus score. Only Virat Kohli (4) and Virender Sehwag (5) have posted more than three consecutive half-centuries in the IPL.
Glenn Maxwell is known to have gone big against CSK in the past. He has 204 runs in four innings and a strike rate of 202 against them.
Iyer for his red-hot form. Maxwell would be another pick for his record against CSK. Suresh Raina has been in the thick of the action for CSK this edition, so he would be an automatic pick too.