(IPL) The Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals have one final opportunity to progress to the VIVO IPL 2019 Final when they clash in Qualifier 2 today.
The Super Kings, who finished second in the standings, lost to the Mumbai Indians in Qualifier 1 and therefore have to compete in Qualifier 2. The defending champions were the first side to secure a playoff berth, but they’ve haven’t looked all too convincing in the last few matches; after winning 7 of their first 8 matches, CSK only managed two wins in their following seven matches.
The CSK management will be worried about the form of several of their batsmen. Barring MS Dhoni, none of the other batsmen feature in the top 18 run-getters of the season. Numbers best illustrate CSK’s batting woes. They lost 77 wickets in the entire 2018 season and have lost just as many so far this season; while their average runs per wicket stood at 36.48 in the 2018 season, the corresponding number for this season is 28.23.
The CSK top-order is packed with match-winners; each one of Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson and Suresh Raina can win matches on their own. However, they’ve only had sporadic moments of brilliance so far this season; now is the time – in a knockout contest – for them to justify the team management’s backing by producing a match-winning performance.
The Delhi Capitals have never previously competed in an IPL Final. The one final hurdle they have in their way is their nemesis; CSK are the only side to have defeated them twice this season.
The Capitals finished the league season in third position and had to defeat Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Eliminator to compete in Qualifier 2. The Capitals have looked a good side right through the season, and have benefited from different players winning matches on different occasions.The Capitals have the momentum of two wins behind them; if they continue to believe and do all the good things they’ve done so far this season, they could be boarding the flight to Hyderabad on Saturday morning.
Form might not be on their side heading into this match, but the Super Kings have several players with solid temperament and experience of playing in high-pressure matches. The Delhi Capitals’players may be found wanting on the temperament front and might not have too much experience of playing in such high-stakes matches, but they have the exuberance of youth.
Who will prevail: the experienced, or the exuberant?