These are still early days in the Indian Premier League but almost every team has been hit by injuries. Two of the most consistent teams — Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Daredevils — find their captains on the casualty list and will play under stand-in skippers when they face off at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Friday afternoon.
Armed with two away-wins, Daredevils was flying high until the marauding Mumbai Indians brought it down with a thud on Wednesday.
With skipper Gautam Gambhir leaving the field in the second over of the match with a suspected hamstring injury, Dinesh Karthik took over. However, nothing went right for the home team. Eventually, it was proved that Daredevils either wins by a mile or loses by a similar distance.
On Thursday, Karthik and Chennai's Suresh Raina will be the captains for the first time. Raina takes over from the injured Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Both skippers would hope for the much-believed Beginner's Luck to be on his side.
Tipped as the title favourite, Daredevils depends too heavily on the big four — Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Tillakaratne Dilshan and A.B. de Villiers. At least one of them has clicked in each of Daredevils' victories in the past. However, a collective failure of the top-order has inevitably led the team to doom. Further, the inability to come good in big matches, like the two semifinals, has not done the reputation of Daredevils any good.
On the other hand, Super Kings has more match-winners. Even without the services of Mike Hussey, Jacob Oram and now Dhoni, the team has the resources to come out stronger.
The last time the teams met here, Super Kings' four-wicket win came off the final ball due to speedster M.S. Gony's timely big hits. This time, too, the battle between equals has the potential to throw up unlikely heroes.
Meanwhile, Raina hopes to keep it simple to get the right result. “No doubt, we are going to miss Dhoni. Leading the team is a big challenge but we have plenty of experience in the dressing room,” said Raina.