Lara wants du Plessis, Gaikwad to be careful against Nortje and Co. in powerplay

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10 Oct 2021 | 03:37 AM
authorcricket.com staff

Lara wants du Plessis, Gaikwad to be careful against Nortje and Co. in powerplay

The Rishabh Pant-led side defeated Chennai twice in the league stage

Former West Indies captain Brian Lara believes Chennai Super Kings’ experience will give them a slight advantage over Delhi Capitals in the first qualifier of the Indian Premier League 2021. The Rishabh Pant-led side defeated Chennai twice in the league stage but Delhi don’t really have a great record against MS Dhoni and Co. in the playoffs. They have played Chennai twice in the playoffs and have lost both times.

“The four teams that have played the best cricket... Those four teams deserve to be in the playoffs. I am looking forward to this 1 vs 2 clash. It’s going to be exciting. This is an important game but teams might think they will have another game if they miss out this time around but teams at 3 and 4 are also very strong. Neither Chennai nor Delhi would be thinking about a defeat in this match,” Lara told Cricket.com.

“This is going to be a tough clash and it’s very difficult to predict what’s going to happen. Chennai have stumbled in their last three games, while Delhi too lost their last match. Delhi’s bowling attack is going to ask Chennai a lot of questions and they can destroy them. Delhi have the best bowling attack in the IPL but CSK bat long. I can’t decide who is going to win this one. Just in terms of talent, Delhi have some amazing young players but Chennai have the experience.

“Experience is Chennai’s major asset. The two openers are doing the business but they also have the experience of playing these important playoff games and that could come in handy. MS Dhoni and his brains and his thinking are going to come good.”

Faf du Plessis (546 runs at 45.5) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (533 runs at 44.42) have been in phenomenal form this season but haven’t been able to dominate Delhi’s formidable bowling attack. Du Plessis scored only 10 runs in two games against Delhi in the league stage, while Gaikwad managed just 18. Lara wants these two to take some time against Avesh Khan, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje and then dictate terms once they are set.

“That would be a wise call because Delhi haven’t been great at the death like they were in 2020. Rabada was outstanding last year and Delhi were able to shut teams down in the last few overs. But, that hasn’t been the case this year! You could easily be prepared for that and make sure you don’t lose the game in the powerplay.

“I feel that Avesh, Nortje and Rabada are doing most of the damage in the powerplay and Chennai could be slightly careful during that phase. They will target the two openers with short deliveries but if Faf and Gaikwad can see off the first few overs, the two could do some serious damage.”

Lara also wants Chennai to continue with Robin Uthappa and doesn’t want to see Steve Smith in Delhi’s playing XI.

“Someone will have to talk to Robin Uthappa but I don’t see Raina coming back against such a solid pace attack. Uthappa though will have to carry on and make sure he continues the momentum. He also needs to put some prize on his wicket. 

“With Delhi, if Stoinis is available, I would play him. I am also shocked that Billings hasn’t been given any opportunity. It might be too late now but I wouldn’t have Smith in the XI. It will all boil down to Stoinis’ fitness.”

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Delhi Capitals vs Chennai Super KingsIndian Premier League, 2021Delhi CapitalsChennai Super KingsRobin UthappaMarcus StoinisBrian Lara

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