Chennai: They might be upbeat after a narrow win but defending champions Chennai Super Kings' chances of making the playoffs are still far from good as they take on tournament-leaders Delhi Daredevils in a crucial IPL match here on Saturday.
The four-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals on Thursday came as a massive boost for the two-time defending champions, who are placed fourth in the table with 13 points with six wins and an equal number of losses from their 13 matches so far. Even a win would not be enough for Chennai to make the next grade as five teams - Delhi Daredevils, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab - have four more matches to go.
Delhi and Kolkata enjoy the top two positions with 18 and 17 points, respectively from 12 matches each and these two would have lesser problems in making the semi-final. Delhi had emerged victorious the last time Chennai clashed with them but given that Saturday's match is a home game for Chennai, the result could be different.
Delhi are ruling the roost thanks to consistence performances by captain Virender Sehwag with Australian import David Warner adding to their firepower. Even though Mahela Jayawardene and Ross Taylor have not been among the runs.
Home conditions and fans support will go in favour of Chennai, who boast of a better batting line up on paper and their bowlers have provided the required oxygen for winning matches. Chennai seem to be better chasers and have played to their potential after bowlers succeeded in restricting the rival batsmen. But if Sehwag, Jayawardene and Warner fire in unison and post a solid total, Delhi's bowlers Irfan Pathan, Shahbaz Nadeem and Morne Morkel would hold the edge.
Chennai Super Kings: 1 MS Dhoni (capt), 2 Faf du Plessis, 3 Murali Vijay 4 Dwayne Bravo, 5 Ravindra Jadeja, 6 Suresh Raina, 7 Anirudha Srikkanth, 8 Albie Morkel 9 Shadab Jakati 10 R Ashwin, 11 Ben Hilfenhaus
Delhi Daredevils: 1 David Warner, 2 Virender Sehwag (capt), 3 Mahela Jayawardene, 4 Andre Russell, 5 Irfan Pathan, 6 Yogesh Nagar, 7 Naman Ojha, 8 Morne Morkel, 9 Shahbaz Nadeem, 10 Umesh Yadav, 11 Varun Aaron.