Chennai Super Kings had lost its first match of the Indian Premier League 2014 against Kings XI Punjab thanks to a couple of remarkable innings played by Glenn Maxwell and David Miller. A noticeable feature about the Super Kings outfit is that it mostly takes some individual brilliance to upstage them, as it happened in the first game. However, when the opponents fail to perform that well, the Chennai team wins its matches more often than not. This is what happened in the game against the Delhi Daredevils at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on April 21, 2014.
Team composition: Delhi Daredevils went in with the same team that had won against Kolkata on April 19. Chennai Super Kings made a number of changes. Mithun Manhas, Ishwar Pandey and Ben Hilfenhaus came in for Dwayne Bravo, Pawan Negi and Ashish Nehra respectively.
Batting: Chennai won the toss and opted to bat. They reached 177 for 7 in their allotted 20 overs with Raina, who was also adjudged the Man of Match, scoring 56 from 41 balls. There were vital contributions from the likes of Dwayne Smith, Faf du Plessis and MS Dhoni.
Facing a decent total, the Delhi batsmen were unable to get much momentum and were shot out for 84 in 15.4 overs. Neesham was the highest scorer with 22 from 15 balls. Dinesh Karthik also tried his level best to salvage the situation with 21 from 22 deliveries.
Bowling: When Chennai batted, Unadkat was the best bowler for Delhi with 3 for 32 from 4 overs. Neesham (1 for 29) and Nadeem (1 for 29 from 3) picked up wickets but the failure of Shami (1 for 45) and the absence of Coulter-Nile proved to be major hindrances when it came to Delhi restricting Chennai to a gettable total.
Chennai was able to outdo its performance with the bat with its performance with the ball. Ashwin (2 for 3 from 2), Jadeja (2 for 18 from 2.4) and Ishwar Pandey (2 for 23) were the wreckers in chief. However, Hilfenhaus, Mohit Sharma and Dwayne Smith all picked up a wicket apiece. It was basically this complete performance from the bowlers that ensured that Chennai went home with a substantial win.
Where do the teams go from here?
Chennai had a good day at the office and would like this trend to continue for the rest of the tournament. They have been able to find a properly balanced outfit and should stick with it for the time being.
Delhi, which has now lost 2 matches out of 3, needs to rethink its team composition. The most obvious choice at this stage would be to rest the injured Coulter-Nile and bring in Parnell. They could also think of substituting Mayank Agarwal with Kedhar Jadhav or Quinton de Kock and Manoj Tiwary with Saurav Tiwary. Mohammed Shami, who has leaked plenty of runs till now, perhaps needs to be rested and new names such as Siddharth Kaul, HS Sharath and Rahul Shukla need to be tried out. Someone like Laxmi Ratan Shukla, who is a combative batsman and a decent enough bowler, could be tried as well. Delhi made a critical mistake in not picking enough bowling allrounders in the auction and this could come back to haunt the team later on in the competition.