IPL 2023 CSK vs DC Preview - if you're going to go down, go down swinging

Key match stats

Pitch Stats – MA Chidambaram Stadium

Average first innings score: 173
Average first innings winning score: 196
Average powerplay score: 57
Win % batting 1st vs batting 2nd: 40% / 60%

Team form CSK vs DC


Recent meetings: IPL 2022 CSK won by 91 runs

Preview CSK vs DC

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Credit has to go to this Delhi Capitals team who simply refuse to go quietly into the night and with several sides above them in the table faltering, they are still in with a very small chance of making the playoffs.

However, travelling to the MA Chidambaram Stadium is a test of any side's credentials and with CSK closing in on a top 2 spot themselves then DC shouldn't expect an easy ride here.

It's been 4 years since DC last travelled here for a match against the Super Kings and on that occasion, they were bowled out for 99, the 3rd lowest IPL score at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. Things weren't much better last year when the Capitals played CSK at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai and were skittled for just 117 in pursuit of Chennai's 208.

If DC are to overcome this CSK side, then they'd do well to stick to the principles of their previous match against RCB which seemed to embody a mentality of "if we're going to go down, we may as well go down swinging". In that regard, Phil Salt is the ideal player at the top of the order, with a career strike rate of 150+ and a mindset that doesn't allow previous failures to get in the way of his attacking intent. He certainly rode his luck at times against RCB and the Capitals will need that good fortune to continue if they are to pull off something special.

Meanwhile CSK returned to winning ways with a very comfortable victory here over Mumbai. We know that their strength has traditionally been through the middle overs where their multiple spin options can strangle any batting line-up. However, the return to fitness of Deepak Chahar, the wicket taking form of Tushar Deshpande and the death bowling excellence of Matheesha Pathirana mean that they're looking dangerous across all phases of the game at the moment.

CSK know a win here will essentially seal their place in the playoffs but they will be very keen to secure a top 2 finish. With both the initial qualifier and eliminator to be played here in Chepauk then the Super Kings will have their route to the final mapped out with home advantage playing a big factor.

CSK vs DC head to head

DC bowling vs CSK batting

Problem number 1 for this Delhi side is how do they get into this Chennai batting line-up? Batting first this season, CSK have only failed to make 200 in one match which was their opening game against Gujarat Titans. Since then they've been averaging 219.5 batting first. While chasing, only the Rajasthan Royals who have a very strong record when defending a score, have managed to defeat this CSK squad.

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IPL 2023 powerplay batting stats for CSK

We wait to see whether DC will have Anrich Nortje back for this game after he flew back to South Africa for personal reasons. Ishant Sharma has come into the DC side and proved to be very effective of late. His 3 powerplay wickets at an economy of 7.0 have contributed to DC's improvement in form but he's not been effective here in the past and David Warner would dearly love to have the express pace of Nortje available to him on this surface.

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Ishant Sharma IPL bowling stats at the MA Chidambaram Stadium

We have to assume that spin will play a major role here too but the Capitals will be acutely aware that their 2 primary spin options, Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav, will be up against a left-hand dominant CSK middle order who will look to take them on.

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Axar and Kuldeep T20 head to head records against CSK's left-handers

You'd expect them to pick a bowler like Lalit Yadav in their starting XI to overcome that with the off-spinner having taken 1 for 17 from 4 overs the last time he visited the MA Chidambaram Stadium. Meanwhile CSK's 4 left-handers have collective career average against right-arm finger of just 25.3 while their strike rate drops to 127.7.

CSK bowling vs DC batting

I noted in my blog yesterday, the importance of winning the powerplay and that is particularly true against a CSK side that has won all 4 of its games when they've been ahead at the 6 over mark. CSK's powerplay bowling has improved over recent weeks but their economy rate is still 9.3 while the field restrictions are in place and Warner and Salt will want to take advantage of that potential weakness.

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Chahar T20 head to head vs Warner

A fast start then is crucial to ensure that the middle order aren't put under increasing pressure by CSK's plethora of spinners. Having the off-spin of Moeen, the slow left-arm of Jadeja and the mystery of Theekshana gives Dhoni so many options to play with and match-ups to create in his favour.

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CSK's spinners and match-ups vs DC's batsmen. Highlight in yellow are the match-ups favouring the bowler and red those which appear to favour the batsman

DC therefore have to be very smart with their batting line-up and ensuring that they target the right bowlers at the right time. The above graphic for example shows the importance of David Warner and Axar Patel in combating the threat of Ravi Jadeja who is having a great season with the ball . Meanwhile, expect to see Theekshana and Moeen into the attack early given their good head to head records against the the Capital's top order batsmen.

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Number 4 and 5 batsmen for DC collective IPL 2023 stats

Getting runs from the middle order has been a problem for DC all season. They've chopped and changed their options trying to fine a winning combination but to date have enjoyed very little success with just 1 half century from a batsmen batting in either the number 4 or 5 position all season. By contrast batsmen in those positions have contributed 11 single digit scores from 20 innings. If DC are going to pull off a win here and potentially go on a run to reach the playoffs, their middle order will need to contribute substantially more!

All stats used in this blog are from my own databases which are freely accessible below
IPL head to head player stats
IPL player stats by venue
IPL stadium statistics.
Images are my own with the exception of player profiles and highlights within GIFs which are not intended to infringe copyright- read full disclaimer. Background images are used under a creative commons license or otherwise royalty free.