DC v CSK Preview : Delhi to miss key players in opener

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Chennai Super Kings kick off their campaign for IPL 2021 ahainst Delhi Capitals after a disappointing 7th spot in 2020.  CSK will be reinforced by the return of Suresh Raina who missed last year IPL due to personal reasons.  The batting looks to have a solid core with last year’s sensation Ruturaj Gaekwad opening with Faf Duplesis in all probability though Uthappa is also in the mix with good latest donestic record. Raina and Rayudu can make a strong middle order .  Probably the will play Moeen at 5 with Dhoni or Jadeja to follow.   Have a feeling that they may bat Jadeja at 6 this season with his improved batting. 

The bowling will be without Ngidi who is on comsultory quarantine after landing recently from South Africa . Thus they will play Bravo in his spot. Shardul and Deepak Chahar will be the Indian pacers and Sam Curran should provide the left arm variety .

The probable XI might be :
Gaekwad , Duplessis , Raina , Rayudu , Moeen Ali , Dhoni , Jadeja , Sam Curran , Dwayne Bravo, Shardul , Deepak Chahar .

Delhi Capitals will be without their 3 key players . The South African fast bowlers Rabada and Nortje are on quarantine having arrived late after playing the ODIs vs Pakistan and Axar Patel is still in isolation after contracting covid .  Rishabh Pant is their new captain replacing injured Shreyas Iyer . All eyes will be on him to see how he shapes up against the captaincy wizard like MS Dhoni .

The batting should comprise of in form openers Dhawan and Shaw . The latter is coming off a great domestic season in white ball cricket and will be trying to  make a big statement in IPL 2021 for a  comeback to Indian squad before T20 world cup. 

Most interesting aspect will be to see which middle order Delhi employs . With no Shreyas Iyer , the middle order options are Steve Smith , Rahane , Pant , Hetmyer and Billings  with all rounder Stoinis following . 
With South African quicks unavailable , Chris Woakes may have a go . Umesh and Ishant are both expected to play and Ashwin with Amit Mishra should be their spin duo . 

The probable XI could be :

Dhawan , Shaw , Rahane , Pant , Hetmyer , Stoinis , Woakes , Ashwin , Amit Mishra , Umesh Yadav , Ishant Sharma. 

Thus even without 3 of their key players the Delhi Capitals look like a formidable squad .

It should be a well contested match and all eyes will be on how Rishabh Pant leads the team in his 1st high profile  match as captain against a wizard like MS Dhoni.  The will be a battle of two wicketkeeper captains . 

CSK with almost all the key players available will start with an edge but the Capitals will not be any pushovers as they are one of the favourites to reach playoffs this season .

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