CSK vs DC, IPL 2021: Moeen Ali May Start For Chennai, Steven Smith To Make Debut For Delhi
It will be a clash between MS Dhoni and Rishabh Pant when Chennai Super Kings take on Delhi Capitals in Mumbai on Saturday. Historically it is advantage CSK but DC defeated them on both occasions in the UAE last year. Who will open for CSK? Where will Moeen Ali bat? Who will replace Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje for the Capitals as the two South African speedsters undergo their quarantine?
We look at the possible XIs for both the teams.
Chennai Super Kings
The big question for CSK would be who will partner Faf du Plessis at the top of the order – his form last year suggests that Ruturaj Gaikwad should get the nod ahead of Moeen Ali – CSK’s new recruit at the auctions. In such a case, the England all-rounder will bat in the lower-order. The return of their highest run-getter Suresh Raina will give a major boost to CSK. Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran and Dwayne Bravo complete the all-rounders list and mean that CSK will bat deep which would in turn mean that MS Dhoni can take more risks and play a more attacking game this season.
Deepak Chahar will lead the pace unit along with the impressive Shardul Thakur while Curran will add variety to the attack.
Possible Playing XI for CSK: 1 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 2 Faf du Plessis, 3 Suresh Raina 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 MS Dhoni, 6 Ravindra Jadeja, 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Dwayne Bravo, 9 Sam Curran, 10 Shardul Thakur, 11 Deepak Chahar
The Capitals have a formidable top 6 – perhaps the best in the tournament. Dhawan will open with Shaw. Dhawan was in brilliant form in the previous two editions after he changed course from anchor to aggressor mid-way into the competition. Shaw started the tournament with a bang in the UAE but then witnessed a dramatic decline in form. However, he was devastating in the 2021 Vijay Hazare Trophy breaking the all-time aggregate record for a season and smashing four hundreds.
Steven Smith was a great buy for the franchise and will be the playmaker at number at number 3. Expect skipper Pant to return to his destructive best after an indifferent 2020. The impetus in the lower-order will be provided by Marcus Stoinis and Shimron Hetmyer. On their day, any one of the top six can single-handedly win the match for the Capitals.
While Rabada and Nortje serve the quarantine period, Indian stalwarts Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma will get an opportunity to show their prowess with the ball. Chris Woakes will be the third seamer also capable of hitting the long ball at the death. Axar Patel is also likely to sit out recovering from Covid-19 and Amit Mishra should walk in the XI as a replacement and be the wicket-taking option to complement the restrictive R Ashwin.
Possible Playing XI for DC: 1 Prithvi Shaw, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Steven Smith, 4 Rishabh Pant, 5 Marcus Stoinis, 6 Shimron Hetmyer, 7 Chris Woakes, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Umesh Yadav, 10 Amit Mishra, 11 Ishant Sharma