The thirty-fourth match of the IPL 2020 tournament between the blockbuster teams, Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings, could all be about match-ups. We take a look at a key game plan that could play a role in the thirty-fourth game of IPL 2020 – DC vs CSK.
DC vs CSK: SAM CURRAN IS FINALLY PROMOTED!
Before CSK’s last game (vs SRH on 13 October), their batsmen had the worst RPO (6.69) and the second-worst average (28.20) in the powerplay this season. CSK needed someone who could utilise the fielding restrictions at the top of the order and thus they promoted Sam Curran. Not only Curran came good but it also delayed the introduction of Nadeem against Watson-Faf.
Curran is not a slogger or a pinch-hitter. He is a very capable batsman. He is just given the license to be attacking at the beginning of the innings. But, can he come good against Delhi Capitals?
Delhi have a very solid bowling attack and Curran might not find it easy. Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje are a straight counter match-up for the English southpaw.
Delhi have used Ashwin in the powerplay at times – according to the match-ups. And, the off-spinner has repaid the faith. Bowling 42 balls in the powerplay this season, he has picked up five wickets and has an economy of just about 6. What Ashwin needs to against Curran is to bowl off-breaks on the good-length in outside off-stump line, and mix it up with variations.
Bowling 47 balls on the good-length against left-handed batsmen this season, Ashwin has scalped three wickets while his returns on bowling the full-length are bad.
The Sharjah deck has got slow in the past few matches, and, thus it should not surprise us if spinners have a good time today. In the first four matches in Sharjah this season, the batsmen averaged about 54 and scored at over 10 RPO against spinners. In the last three matches, the average has fallen to 27.40 and the scoring rate to 6.52.
Rabada and Nortje, the South African pace duo, have set the stage on fire in the tournament so far. The thrilling aspect of their bowling is their pace. And, the pace could do the trick for them against Curran or most of the CSK batters for that matter.
Whilst Rabada is yet to pick up a wicket this (though he has been economical) way, Nortje has picked up four wickets at an economy of under seven. We have not seen a lot of Curran but it seems that he is not very secure against express pacers. Thus, the pacers can test Curran by hitting hard-lengths and bouncers, angling the ball away from him.
DC vs CSK: SHOULD DC PROMOTE ALEX CAREY?
Rishabh Pant is still expected to remain out of the playing XI and thus Carey will continue to play as a wicketkeeper-batsman. However, he has not looked good enough so far. He does not have a lot of power and hitting pacers is not his strength. Carey’s best position in T20 cricket is the opening spot. Whilst DC can’t open open with him, they can promote at No. 3 or No. 4 to smash the spinners.
CSK don’t have an off-spinner or express pacer to trouble him either. Jadeja, in particular, has been quite poor against the left-handed batsmen. Whist Chawla has not been very good against both batting types, Karn Sharma has a low sample size against the southpaws.
Jadeja hardly bowls other variations and keeps varying pace, line and length more often. Chawla does bowl googlies and thus Carey needs to proactive. Bowling 54 googlies this season, the leg-spinner has picked up three wickets at an average of around 20.
Pant and Hetmyer – two of DC’s best hitters of spinners – are missing, thus promoting Carey might be a good move. This should also help in encountering the spin-threat posed by CSK against DC. The right-handers might struggle against CSK spinners and Dhawan also doesn’t a very good range against spinners except for various sweeps.
It seems that DC are looking to maintain the LHB-RHB combination, thus, if the first wicket is Dhawan, Carey can walk in at No. 3; at No. 4 if otherwise. Carey is a good player of spin and if given clear instructions, he might come good.