IPL 2021: It’s MS Dhoni vs Rishabh Pant as CSK and DC kick-off their campaign

Mumbai: It will likely be a battle between the “young apprentice and his master” when Rishabh Pant’s Delhi Capitals and Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings sq. off in an IPL match in Mumbai on Saturday, with each side aiming for a profitable begin to their campaign.

The Delhi franchise ended runners-up final season within the UAE and could be aiming to go one higher this time and an excellent begin could be what they are going to be on the lookout for. Three-time champions CSK had a forgettable season final 12 months, ending at seventh out of eight groups and they might even be looking for a profitable begin in their bid to make amends of a poor IPL 2020.

Keeper-batsman Pant, anointed to captaincy within the absence of injured Shreyas Iyer, has stated not too long ago that he would put his learning from Dhoni to use in DC’s season opener. “My first match as captain will be against Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni). It will be a good experience for me as I have learned a lot from him. I’ll apply my own experience and learning from him,” Pant had stated not too long ago. 

Delhi’s sturdy batting line up of Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Steven Smith and Pant himself will look to fireside on all cylinders proper from the opening recreation.

Dhawan (618 runs) was the second highest run-scorer in IPL 2020 and seemed in good contact within the latest ODI sequence in opposition to England. He could be raring to go this season. Shaw will likely be itching to show his value after amassing 827 runs within the Vijay Hazare Trophy. It is probably that Shaw and Dhawan would open.

Captain Pant, a hard-hitting batsman, is within the type of his life, having emerged as a match-winner for India within the sequence in opposition to Australia and England. He want to proceed his good run.

The Delhi crew additionally possesses the likes of all-rounder Marcus Stonis, Shimron Hetymar and Sam Billings however must get their crew mixture proper, as solely 4 abroad gamers can function within the enjoying XI. They have sufficient choices to select from the battery of pacers comprising Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada, Umesh Yadav, Chris Woakes and Anrich Nortje.

Even if the South African duo of Rabada and Nortje misses out the primary recreation as they joined the crew just some days again, DC have sufficient firepower and expertise within the bowling division.

Also, enjoying a key function on a sluggish Wankhede monitor could be the spinners — Ravichandran Ashwin and Amit Mishra, although Axar Patel won’t be out there as he examined constructive for COVID-19 final Saturday. 

On the opposite hand, Chennai will likely be bolstered by the return of the skilled batsman Suresh Raina, who’s their all-time main run-scorer, with 5,368 runs. Raina will strengthen the top-order, which has the likes of younger Ruturaj Gaikwad, South African Faf Du Plessis and Ambati Rayudu.

With the likes of younger Sam Curran, who virtually pulled off a win for England within the remaining ODI in opposition to India, and Moeen Ali, together with nice finisher Dhoni, Chennai even have a steady middle-order. Their bowling assault will likely be led by the ever-improving Shardul Thakur, who also can bat, and Deepak Chahar. And then there’s Ravindra Jadeja, the wily left-arm spinner, who may also be useful with the bat.

Behind the closed doorways on the Wankhede Stadium, which was ravaged by a slew of COVID-19 circumstances earlier than it was cleared to host matches, it stays to be seen whether or not Pant is ready to outsmart Dhoni, or ‘MSD’ has his manner.


Delhi Capitals: Rishabh Pant (c & wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Chris Woakes, R Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Lalit Yadav, Pravin Dubey, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Ishant Sharma, Avesh Khan, Steve Smith, Umesh Yadav, Ripal Patel, Vishnu Vinod, Lukman Meriwala, M Siddarth, Tom Curran, Sam Billings.

Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c & wk), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, KM Asif, Deepak Chahar, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, N Jagadeesan, Karn Sharma, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shardul Thakur, Sam Curran, R Sai Kishore, Moeen Ali, Okay Gowtham, Cheteshwar Pujra, Harishankar Reddy, Bhagath Varma, C Hari Nishaanth.

Match begins at 7.30 PM.  

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