Raipur: Virtually assured of a berth in the play-offs, Chennai Super Kings would aim to tighten their grip on the No 1 position in the points table when they take on the out-of-contention Delhi Daredevils in an IPL match here today.
With eight wins and four losses from 12 games, two-time former champions CSK are on top in the preliminary standings. Daredevils, in contrast, lie second from bottom after losing eight of their 12 matches.
In fact, the side has succumbed to four consecutive losses with its last win coming way back on May 1 — that too against the bottom-placed Kings XI Punjab.
CSK coach Fleming said the target now is to finish as the number one team in the preliminary stage. "I do not think about the special advantage of being first or second. I think we need to win one more game at least and then we can have the luxury of introducing players.
The situation will be that we will be losing couple of players, Brendon McCullum in particular, and we are very mindful of that. But we want to make sure that we go to No 1 and then qualify," Fleming said after Sunday's 12-run win over Rajasthan Royals.
Chennai Super Kings' Ravindra Jadeja celebrates the wicket of Rajasthan Royals' Deepak Hooda in Chennai on Sunday. The left-arm spinner claimed four wickets against RR. Pic/PTI
Save for occasional minor slip ups, CSK have been clinical so far and it would be a huge task for Jean-Paul Duminy's men to upstage the title favourites. Nothing seems to have worked for DD this season with multi-crore buy Yuvraj Singh being their biggest batting flop.
His lacklustre show in the middle-order has hurt DD badly even though Duminy and opener Quinton de Kock have also been disappointing. On the bowling front, although veteran pace spearhead.
CSK, on the other hand, are a team on a roll but not without their own set of worries to ponder over. Some of the frailties stood exposed on Sunday night against Rajasthan Royals even though the team managed to be on the winning side.
One of their concerns, as admitted by coach Stephen Fleming, is the dependence over New Zealand swashbuckler Brendon McCullum to get good starts.
The opener's form has been very crucial in the games so far and for most part he has delivered as well but Dwayne Smith's bat has gone quiet after the initial flourish and he wouldn't find an easier opportunity to once again find form than today.