Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s batting position will be an area of interest when Chennai Super Kings look to pick up pieces against a confident Delhi Capitals in their third Indian Premier League match on Friday.

The defeat against Rajasthan Royals on a batting belter at Sharjah could be primarily attributed to a poor show by their spinners along with a disastrous 20th over, but the batsmen can’t absolve themselves completely.

Dhoni had come in to bat at number seven, promoting the likes of Sam Curran, Jadhav and Ruturaj Gaikwad ahead of himself but the ploy backfired badly, leaving Faf du Plessis with too much work in too little time.

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While followers of the game were divided on the topic, a closer look would show that Dhoni is unable to change the gears against express pace as he used to. In the last match, it was only when Tom Curran came with his medium-fast that Dhoni launched an attack and the match was all but over by then.

However, on a larger Dubai ground with bigger-sized boundaries, the skipper can rotate the strike better unlike Sharjah and also take those extra deliveries to settle down.

For Delhi Capitals, winning a cliffhanger in the Super Over against Kings XI Punjab right at the onset would have given them a lot of confidence even though Ravichandran Ashwin’s probable absence after a shoulder injury could force them to reshuffle their bowling line-up.

Senior spinner Amit Mishra could be an option to partner Axar Patel in case Ashwin is unable to make it. The cushion of bigger boundaries can always help a wrist spinner attack more by tossing the ball up.

Another aspect will be pacer Mohit Sharma’s performance. While Mohit got KL Rahul at the beginning, his loose deliveries at the back-end made things difficult for the Capitals even as Kagiso Rabada bowled tightly at one end.

Against a side like CSK which revels in attacking the last 10 overs, the Capitals might like to try Harshal Patel, who is also a handy batsman at any number having opened in domestic cricket.

Anrich Nortje in his first IPL game wasn’t bad but left-armer Daniel Sams could create those awkward angles that batsmen dislike. Shimron Hetmyer is likely to get one more chance unless Ricky Ponting wants to bring in some stability in the form of Alex Carey.

When it comes to batting, Delhi has one too many big-hitters in their line-up including Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, skipper Shreyas Iyer and last match’s hero Marcus Stoinis, who would like to throw up an open challenge for Piyush Chawla and Ravindra Jadeja, who had a forgettable last outing.

Head to head

Matches CSK win DC wins Tied CSK win% DC win%
21 16 6 0 76% 24%


  • MS Dhoni needs 3 catches to complete 100 IPL catches as wicketkeeper
  • Amit Mishra is 3 wickets away from 100 IPL wickets for the Delhi franchise 
  • Faf du Plessis needs 17 runs to complete 2000 IPL runs  

CSK's squad for IPL 2020

Batsmen Bowlers Allrounders Wicketkeepers
Ruturaj Gaikwad Lungi Ngidi Dwayne Bravo MS Dhoni
Faf du Plessis Deepak Chahar Ravindra Jadeja N Jagadeesan
Shane Watson Karn Sharma Mitchell Santner
Ambati Rayudu Imran Tahir Sam Curran
M Vijay Shardul Thakur
Kedar Jadhav Monu Kumar
KM Asif
R. Sai Kishore
Piyush Chawla
Josh Hazlewood

DC's squad for IPL 2020

Batsmen Bowlers All-rounders Wicketkeepers
Shreyas Iyer Ishant Sharma Axar Patel Rishabh Pant
Prithvi Shaw Amit Mishra Harshal Patel Alex Carey
Shikhar Dhawan Avesh Khan R Ashwin
Ajinkya Rahane Sandeep Lamichhane Lalit Yadav
Shimron Hetmyer Kagiso Rabada Marcus Stoinis
Keemo Paul Daniel Sams
Mohit Sharma
Tushar Deshpande
Anrich Nortje

Match starts at 1930 IST and will be broadcast on the Star Sports network and Disney+Hotstar

(With PTI and inputs)