'Right now, he’s a rival': Rishabh Pant on MS Dhoni ahead of DC vs CSK clash in Dubai

At the toss in Dubai, Rishabh Pant said he has learned many things from the CSK skipper but at the moment, he considers MS Dhoni nothing but his rival.
DC captain Rishabh Pant (R) with CSK skipper MS Dhoni at toss during IPL 2021 match no. 50(iplt20.com)
DC captain Rishabh Pant (R) with CSK skipper MS Dhoni at toss during IPL 2021 match no. 50(iplt20.com)
Updated on Oct 04, 2021 07:38 PM IST
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Byhindustantimes.com, New Delhi

Delhi Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant is leading his side against MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 match no. 50. The former won the toss at Dubai International Stadium on Monday and opted to bowl against CSK.

Pant explained that his team expects that the pitch might do something early, hence they would bowl first in Dubai. When asked about the experience of facing Dhoni once again in the league, the youngster said he has learned many things from the CSK skipper but at the moment, he considers Dhoni nothing but his rival.

IPL 2021 DC vs CSK Live score updates

“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. Ripal Patel is making his debut, 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,” said Rishabh Pant at the time of toss.

DC have handed debut to all-rounder Ripal Patel who has replaced Steve Smith in the line-up. CSK, on the other hand, have rested an under-fire Suresh Raina. To replace the left-hander, Robin Uthappa came in and is making his debut for the franchise.

“We were looking to bat first, but we were not 100% sure, the wicket seems to be tacky. We have got a few changes - Sam is out, Bravo is back, Chahar replaces Asif and Robin Uthappa replaces Suresh Raina, who has a back issue. 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,” said CSK captain MS Dhoni at the toss.

DC and CSK both sit comfortably in the top two and, thanks to their considerable margin over RCB in terms of NRR, the winner of this match will pretty much be guaranteed two shots at making it to the Final.

Here are the playing XIs of both teams:

Delhi Capitals (Playing XI): Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant(w/c), Ripal Patel, Axar Patel, Shimron Hetmyer, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Avesh Khan, Anrich Nortje

ALSO READ | 'He is the boss of Chennai. But we haven't seen MS do anything': Steyn on whether Dhoni will turn up for CSK next year

Chennai Super Kings (Playing XI): Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Robin Uthappa, Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni(w/c), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Josh Hazlewood

(With Agency Inputs)

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Monday, November 29, 2021