Steve Smith not playing: Delhi Capitals have made a solitary change to their Playing XI in a bid to beat the only better team than them this season.
During the 50th match of the ongoing 14th season of the Indian Premier League between Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings in Dubai, Delhi Capitals captain Rishabh Pant has won the toss and chose to field.
“We will bowl first. The wicket might do a bit early, so better bowling first. We just need to focus on the basics, continue doing what we have been doing, want to finish in the top two,” Pant told Star Sports at the toss.
Unlike Pant, Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni wanted to bat first but wasn’t entirely sure about the same. “We were looking to bat first, but we were not 100% sure. The wicket seems to be tacky,” Dhoni told Star Sports at the toss.
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“We are trying to rest players who have some niggles, top-two is important, if you have a bad day in the qualifiers, you have another chance to make a comeback.”
Why is Steve Smith not playing vs CSK?
Delhi’s only change to their Playing XI has come in the form of debutant Ripal Patel replacing Australia batter Steven Smith. Smith, who has scored 152 runs in eight innings at a mediocre average and strike rate of 25.33 and 112.59 respectively, hasn’t been included to strengthen their lower-order batting.
26-year old Patel, who represents Gujarat in domestic cricket, has impressive strike rates of 99.10 and 189.10 in nine List A and 11 T20s respectively.
“Ripal Patel is making his debut, [Steven] Smith goes out. He’s a lower middle-order batsman who can bowl a few overs. Always great learning from him [MS Dhoni], but right now he’s a rival, so focus is on the game,” Pant added.
As far as the changes for Super Kings are concerned, they have replaced Suresh Raina, Sam Curran and KM Asif with Robin Uthappa, Dwayne Bravo and Deepak Chahar.