Big pictureDelhi Capitals are threatening to become the most consistent side in the IPL. They have a solid all-conditions side, which doesn't get affected by the event moving from the UAE to India at the start of the year and then from India to the UAE mid-tournament. In 2019, they finished third and lost the second qualifier; in 2020 they were second on the league table and lost the final. Many a thing around them has changed, but they are there at the top of the league table, with practically the same core.
Up against them are Chennai Super Kings, who have shed inhibitions not through a spirit of adventure but by installing fail-safes around fail-safes. They attacked more than any other side with the bat, which took them to the qualifiers before any other side. Despite the three losses at the end, despite Capitals' two wins against them in the league stages, Super Kings remain a dangerous side.
The team that wins goes straight into the final, the team that loses gets another shot at making the final when it faces the winner of the match between teams placed third and fourth. Capitals will be happy they are playing in Dubai, a venue where they have beaten Super Kings this year, a venue where they have won two chasing and lost one defending in a last-ball finish.
Both teams will want to chase because dew does play a part in Dubai, also the venue of the final.
In the newsCapitals, who have been playing with just the three overseas players, are still waiting on the fitness of Marcus Stoinis. Their captain Rishabh Pant sounded hopeful on Friday that Stoinis will be available on Sunday and will take the place of Ripal Patel. With Sam Curran out, Super Kings' seam-bowling allrounder will surely be Dwayne Bravo. The only decision they might have to make is between Suresh Raina and Robin Uthappa, with the latter being the favourite. Read on to know why.
Likely XIsDelhi Capitals: 1 Prithvi Shaw, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Rishabh Pant (capt & wk), 4 Shreyas Iyer, 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Marcus Stoinis/ Ripal Patel, 7 Axar Patel, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Anrich Nortje, 11 Avesh Khan
Chennai Super Kings: 1 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 2 Faf du Plessis, 3 Moeen Ali, 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 Robin Uthappa/ Suresh Raina, 6 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Dwayne Bravo, 9 Shardul Thakur, 10 Deepak Chahar, 11 Josh Hazlewood
Stats that matter
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo