Okay – this is the clash you have all been waiting for. Chennai Super Kings vs. Delhi Capitals. MS Dhoni vs. Rishabh Pant. Master vs. Apprentice. The Legend Himself vs. the Next Superstar of Indian Cricket.
Can you really afford to miss this match? Even those of you who have not seen a single game in this IPL 2019 – you cannot miss this one. This is a clash cricket fans have been waiting for many, many years.
There is, of course, a back story to it. Rishabh was mysteriously left out of the Indian team for the upcoming World Cup in England. Why, why on earth would you leave out one of the best batsmen in the country, a rare talent who can win any match for you for any situation?
We don’t know. As far as selection decisions go, leaving Rishabh out of the Indian team for the World Cup is simply criminal. Sack the selectors already! Off with their heads!
Rishabh showed how good he was in the last game against Sunrisers Hyderabad, rescuing his team from an unwinnable situation to throwing his wicket away just in sight of victory. Sure, the selectors may point out to the way Rishabh throws out his wicket every now and then and how he fails to finish the game after taking his team close.
But that is a foolish argument. What the young man can do, cannot be done by anyone in Indian cricket. As far as finishing is concerned, you have MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya anyway.
So Rishabh has a point to prove, and 1.3 billion Indians will be egging him on. Dhoni too, has a point to prove. He has to show that there is life in the old warhorse yet. He is not going away anywhere and is not ready to cede space to his highly talented young challenger yet.
What about the other players? They don’t matter! You don’t talk about the supporting cast in a Bollywood movie – you only talk about the lead characters. That is the case in this match as well.
Whoever wins the Dhoni vs. Pant contest, will put their team into the final of the IPL 2019.
Chennai Super Kings: 1 Shane Watson, 2 Faf du Plessis, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 M Vijay, 5 Ambati Rayudu, 6 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Dwayne Bravo, 9 Harbhajan Singh, 10 Deepak Chahar, 11 Imran Tahir
Delhi Capitals: 1 Prithvi Shaw, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Shreyas Iyer (capt), 4 Rishabh Pant (wk), 5 Colin Ingram, 6 Sherfane Rutherford, 7 Axar Patel, 8 Keemo Paul, 9 Amit Mishra, 10 Chris Morris/ Trent Boult, 11 Ishant Sharma
Prediction: As we said, this match is all about Dhoni vs. Pant. Dhoni should edge this one because he is cool under pressure and never gifts his wicket away. CSK should win. But you never know.