It’s youth versus experience as Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings are set to battle it out in Qualifier 2 for a spot in the final of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 on Friday.
There couldn’t have been two squad with all the more differentiating traits facing each other in a crunch knockout match.
Throughout the years, Chennai Super Kings have resisted odds and demonstrated age is only a number even in T20 cricket, which is by and large observed as a format wherein youthful weapons with fearless approach rule the roost.
At the 2018 closeout, Chennai Super Kings helped raise many eyebrows as they had picked a squad with a average agr of more than 30 on their comeback to IPL. The trend has proceeded in the continuous season too with their average age by and by being close to 34.
They were called Dad’s Army and even a portion of their fans were sceptical about their chances with a moderately more established squad on their rebound to IPL. In any case, CSK have comprehended their limitations well and flourished with the experience they need to refute their skeptics in the last two seasons.
The defending champions are one win far from making the last for the second successive year. CSK have surely set a diagram for T20 establishments over the globe to follow and emulate.
Dhoni’s demonstrated mantra to not alter the playing XIs and give longer ropes to out-of-form batsmen has worked in IPL 2019 as well. Shane Watson profited by it and any semblance of Suresh Raina and Faf du Plessis are peaking at the opportune time after a progression of conflicting batting shows.
Then again, Delhi Capitals have depended on youths and, it is safe to say, the strategy has worked for them magnificently well in IPL 2019.
Under Shreyas Iyer’s captaincy and the watchful eyes of head coach Ricky Ponting and advisor Sourav Ganguly, the Delhi Capitals reached their first-ever playoffs of IPL in 7 years.
Over the season, Delhi have played some daring cricket and finished the league stage on a three-path tie on 18 points with table-toppers Mumbai Indians and CSK. Lamentably, Delhi passed up a opportunity to play the Qualifier 1 and seal an immediate billet in the final due to their inferior net run rate when considering that of CSK and MI.
In any case, Delhi Capitals battled away a stiff challenge from former champions Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Eliminator in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday to give themselves another shot at achieving their first-ever final in IPL cricket
On Friday, none of them can afford mistakes.
Delhi Capitals should be careful about not enduring breakdown like they have done all through the season at a alarming rate. Despite the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, captain Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant scoring over 400 runs each, Delhi have suffered some horrible collapses and squandered matches that were well within their grasp.
Indeed, even on Wednesday, Delhi Capitals were in a spot of trouble in the last 2 overs of their 163-run chase. Youthful wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant discarded his wicket while going for a magnificence shot when the team needed just 5 runs from the last 8 balls. Delhi scrapped through to a win after a few nervous moments in the final over.
“I think we have an affinity for making games interesting every time. Things seem to go well and suddenly two-three wickets fall. That is the fun in T20s. As long as the situation is not interesting, you don’t have fun.” Delhi Capitals’ teenage opener Prithvi Shawa said while reflecting on the tense finish in Visakhapatnam on Thursday.
Against CSK, it’s all about fine margins. Delhi Capitals cannot afford to have “fun” by squandering opportunities. A skipper like MS Dhoni, known for his tactical acumen, is not going to let go of even the slimmest chance that comes CSK’s way.
Then again, CSK will be careful about weariness as the majority of their senior campaigners looked less than impressive in the Qualifier 1 against Mumbai Indians on Tuesday, There were several misfields and difficult chances that were given up off. Take Shane Watson’s case for example. The senior batsman was a tad bit slow at the slips and it certainly didn’t help the defending champions.
Dhoni has often spoken about scoring those 10-20 runs extra in order to compensate for slow movers in the CSK unit. Considering CSK’s batting form (or the lack of it), maybe their fielders may be forced to put in the extra effort to make up for possible shortcomings in their batting performance.