IPL 2021: Qualifier 1– Strongest Chennai Super Kings (CSK) Predicted Playing XI against Delhi Capitals (DC)

CSK aiming to qualify for the finals for the record ninth time.

Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)
Gaurav Tripathi

Jr. Statistician

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Qualifier 1 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 will see Chennai Super Kings battling it out with Delhi Capitals at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. It has truly been a remarkable comeback from CSK as they suffered a horrendous campaign last season. However, the three-time champions did their homework and recorded one win after another in the ongoing competition.

While CSK would be happy finishing the league stage at the second place, their last few outings weren’t quite fruitful. MS Dhoni’s men will step into the qualifiers on the back of three consecutive defeats. One of those losses came against Delhi Capitals.

Hence, momentum isn’t in their side and it would be interesting to see how they perform in the crucial game. It has to be noted that the Super Kings have played IPL finals a record eight times. Hence, they are well-versed with the drill of high-voltage matches.

Meanwhile, here’s the predicted Playing XI of Chennai Super Kings for IPL 2021 Qualifier 1:

Openers – Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad

Ruturaj Gaikwad celebrates after scoring a hundred
Ruturaj Gaikwad celebrates after scoring a hundred. (Photo Source: Twitter/Indian Premier League)

Openers Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad have indeed been instrumental in CSK’s stellar campaign this season. Both batters scored heavy runs, giving CSK substantial starts more often than not. While Du Plessis has been a proven star of this format, Gaikwad’s brilliance at the top was a revelation.

The young batter troubled several prominent bowlers and even scored a hundred in the tournament. On the other hand, the former South African opener did what he’s best known for. Notably, both these batters have scored over 500 runs and are in race to get the Orange cap.

Middle-order – Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu
MS Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

While the openers have contributed heavily this season, the same can’t be said about CSK’s middle-order. Hailed as Mr. IPL, Suresh Raina started off the season with a brilliant half-century. However, runs dried for him after that as he struggled to get run in slow pitches. An injury also kept him away from the last two games.

However, his replacement Robin Uthappa couldn’t do much either. As Raina was spotted back in nets, one can expect him to play the Qualifier match. As far as Dhoni is concerned, it would be safe to state that the right-handed batter isn’t the player he was once. However, he continues to do well in the leadership and wicketkeeping department.

Ambati Rayudu has indeed been the most impressive of the three. He has played some substantial knocks this season and would like to shine in the playoffs as well.

All-rounders – Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo

Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja. (Photo Source: Twitter/IPL)

Besides openers, the all-rounders should also be credited for CSK’s remarkable turnaround. In Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, CSK have three world-class players who can deliver in all three departments. As the trio lived up to the expectations, CSK won one game after another. Spin twins Ali and Jadeja dry up the scoring rate in the middle overs alongside contributing significantly with the bat.

As far as Bravo is concerned, he has been MS Dhoni’s go-to man in the death overs. He takes wickets in that period alongside keeping the scoring rate down. He has also played some handy cameos.

Bowlers – Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Josh Hazlewood

Deepak Chahar
Deepak Chahar. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

CSK don’t need to tinker with their bowling attack either. The last three spots will be occupied by pacers who’ll be determined to rip apart DC’s batting line-up. Deepak Chahar has been impressive with the new ball this season thanks to his ability to generate swing from the flattest of decks. He shares the new ball with Josh Hazlewood who has an extra yard of pace in his arsenal.

The Australian has done well in containing batters in the powerplay overs. The other fast bowler is Shardul Thakur who just can’t do anything wrong these days. He generally operates in the middle and his knack of taking regular wickets has been a boon for CSK.

CSK’s Predicted XI for Qualifier 1 against DC: Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (c and wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Josh Hazlewood