Chennai take on Delhi in the second match of the Indian T20 League 2021 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday, April 10, as fan-favourite MS Dhoni will be seen in action once again in the yellow jersey.
After a forgettable Indian T20 League last season when Team Chennai finished second from bottom, thereby failing to qualify for the playoffs for the time since the tournament's inception in 2008, MS Dhoni will be confident this time as he returns to familiar home conditions.
Delhi, on the other end, is on the verge of their project finally getting fruition. The team had reached the final last time, with Ricky Ponting's guidance seeming to take them in the right direction. Though they have to do it without an injured Shreyas Iyer this time, Delhi have enough talents to get the machinery going regardless.
After coming agonizingly close to lifting the title last season, Delhi start this season with the tricky challenge of Team Chennai, who has had the upper hand against Delhi over the years.
While Chennai have had a near-perfect record in their backyard, their record away from home hasn't been bleak due to Dhoni's brilliance. And the Captain Cool will come to Wankhede as a more confident man for sure.
|Record in Mumbai|
With both teams playing at a neutral venue, the toss is expected to play a massive role ahead of the game. Batting first wouldn't be a popular option for the teams, especially for Chennai who have averaged a paltry total of 143.2 in their last five matches when batting first.
With their strong batting order, Delhi have clearly been the better side with an average of 156 while batting first in the last five matches. However, chasing would be the primary option for both sides.
|Coin toss and H2H in last matches|
Both Delhi and Chennai have retained their core ahead of the auction with some reinforcements, with both sides having some real threats going into the fixture.
Dhoni will be hoping his new recruit Robin Uthappa continues his magnificent form against Delhi. The former Kolkata player has faced Delhi 25 times, garnering 658 runs with four half-centuries to his name.
On the other hand, Rishabh Pant will be relying on the veteran Shikhar Dhawan to get the job done against Chennai. Dhawan has faced Chennai 23 times and has tallied 777 runs scoring one century and six half-centuries.
With the ball in hand, Dhoni will be welcoming back his wrecker-in-chief Dwayne Bravo to the side after an injury-plagued 2020 campaign. Bravo has picked an impressive 18 wickets in his 18 matches against Delhi with a striker rate of 17.8.
For Delhi, spinner Amit Mishra will look to get his spin doing the job against Chennai. Mishra has 13 wickets in 15 matches against Chennai at a strike rate of 24.6.
Feature Image: AFP/ Noah Seelam