Abu Dhabi experience key for Chennai ahead of Delhi showdown

Matt Monaghan 10:15 21/04/2014
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Better-equipped: Ashwin believes Chennai will be up for the Delhi challenge.

Chennai Super Kings are set to build on the lessons they learned from Friday’s defeat in Abu Dhabi and see off upcoming opponents Delhi Daredevils, according to spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.

Hotly-tipped Chennai sunk to a shock loss to a Glenn Maxwell-inspired Kings XI Punjab in their Indian Premier League season opener at Zayed Cricket Stadium.

Stephen Fleming’s side had posted a competitive 205 in their innings, but a limp bowling performance saw them fall to a six-wicket defeat.

They return to the same ground today to face a Daredevils outfit that claimed a thrilling win at the weekend against Kolkata Knight Riders.

With Delhi yet to play in the capital, India off-break specialist Ashwin who took 2/41 against Kings XI, believes CSK are poised to take advantage of their superior knowledge of the conditions.

He said: “For us, it was a good learning experience.

“No matter how much your practice, it does not count the same as a match.

“That day was about how much information we could get out of the wicket, so we can plan better for the next game.

“We now have a bit of insight into the wicket, about how it is and how we can adjust our lengths.”

Delhi finished bottom in 2013, but have looked much improved. After being beaten by Royal Challengers Bangalore, star pair Jean-Paul Duminy and Dinesh Karthik excelled to see off KKR in Dubai.

With former England international Kevin Pietersen potentially set to make his first appearance of the season, Ashwin was not discounting their ability.

“Delhi played beautifully on Saturday,” he said. “JP Duminy is in great form, Dinesh Karthik is always a good contender in this format and he has been doing well for different franchises.

“We cannot take them lightly. Delhi have put together a completely new side, and we know what they can offer. “As far as it goes, we cannot be too bothered with what they do, we have to do things to the best of our potential.”

CHENNAI V DELHI

Sheikh Zayed Stadium – Abu Dhabi (8.30pm)

Pitch
The Sheikh Zayed Stadium has been fantastic in all the three games played on it so far. Batsmen have it good during the day but bowlers appear to have a bigger say in the night conditions.

Weather
Dry weather conditions will continue to prevail with the evening temperatures expected to hover at 30°C and humidity around 40 per cent. Clear skies are forecast as well.

Teams
Chennai Super Kings (probable):
MChennai Super Kings (probable): MS Dhoni (c & wk), Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina, Francois du Plessis, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohit Sharma, Samuel Badree, Ashish Nehra, Pawan Negi.
Delhi Daredevils (from): Murali Vijay, Mayank Agarwal, Dinesh Karthik, Kevin Pietersen, JP Duminy, Manoj Tiwary, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Jimmy Neesham, Mohammad Shami, Jaydev Unadkat, Wayne Parnell, Shahbaz Nadeem. Live on OSN Sports Cricket HD, 14:30

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