The Chennai Super Kings, with all its star-studded line-up, would not have dreamed of finding themselves in such a situation. Their playoff hopes hang by a thread and before the team hits the road for their away matches, culminating in Dharamsala, CSK cannot afford any slipups. As they take on the Delhi Daredevils in their last home match, the only way forward is to win. Against the Rajasthan Royals it was more of a lucky break than a dominant performance, but the way this season has panned out for CSK, MS Dhoni will gladly take the two points.
It's been almost five years since the core of the two-time winners has remained unchanged under Dhoni, who was once known for his Midas touch. But now the team is desperate for wins.
Albie Morkel has done it twice this season, snatching a win from the jaws of defeat. Even after 13 matches, CSK still don't seem to have a clue as to what their final line-up would be before a match.
Apart from Faf du Plessis, none of the batsmen have fired consistently. Bowling coach Andy Bichel has already summed up the season by saying that CSK lack a finisher. Till last season, MSD was the first choice for this role, with Suresh Raina, S Badrinath and Vijay shouldering the responsibility.
The team has been brilliant one day and uninspiring the other. Dhoni admitted after the last match that it is not good to leave everything till the end. "The top six need to fire and we haven't been able to do it consistently. It is a matter of concern and batsmen need to play freely," he said.
On the other hand, the Delhi Daredevils would love to consolidate their top spot. DD have been the team to beat and the way David Warner and Naman Ohja went about chasing a formidable Deccan Chargers total the other day has just compounded Dhoni's problems.
Not only did DD win that match despite losing Virender Shewag early, they also proved that they have the capability to chase any score.