Saturday night will see a clash between the master and the apprentice. MS Dhoni, who is on the last bend of his career and has been turning up only for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) since his retirement from international cricket last year, will lead the three-time champions against Delhi Capitals (DC), who will be captained by Rishabh Pant, his long-term successor as India's first-choice wicketkeeper.
Rishabh Pant will make a maiden appearance as the captain of the side in the absence of Shreyas Iyer, who is ruled out of the tournament with a shoulder injury. As the two sides meet for their first game of the season, let's take a look at CSK vs DC Dream11 Predictions and CSK vs DC Dream11 fantasy tips, player updates, CSK vs DC playing XI updates, IPL Dream11 Prediction Today match, and Dream11 fantasy tips.
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Wicketkeeper: Rishabh Pant (v/c)
The Delhi Capitals captain has been in tremendous form over the past few months and becomes an automatic choice for the wicketkeeping option. MS Dhoni has not played competitive cricket since the last IPL, and Rishabh Pant is also a top-4 batsman for the side, which keeps the youngster above the veteran former Indian captain in the pecking order for the Dream11 team.
Faf du Plessis is likely to open the innings with Ruturaj Gaikwad in this season, and will aim to fill the void left by the retirement of Shane Watson. Gaikwad, in CSK's final few matches of the previous edition, proved that he could provide the stability at the opening order which the franchise otherwise lacked throughout the tournament.
Among the DC batsmen, we entrust our faith in Prithvi Shaw and Steve Smith. Shaw was in the form of his life in the recently-concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy, where he broke the record for most runs in a single season. Smith, meanwhile, is likely to feature in the XI as a number three batsman for the first few matches and will be aiming to exploit the opportunity in the absence of Iyer.
Jadeja makes a comeback to competitive cricket for the first time since December last year and will remain a threat for the DC -- both with bat and the ball. Marcus Stoinis, meanwhile, will have added responsibility as a floater in Iyer's absence, which could also mean that he is pushed to number five -- or even above, in the lineup.
Sam Curran has been a handy option for the Chennai Super Kings last year and will be key to the side.
Bowlers: Dwayne Bravo, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur
Thakur was in fine form in the limited-overs leg against England and has a knack of inflicting serious blows at key moments. Bravo, meanwhile, has always troubled the batsmen with his slower deliveries and will be key for the side during the middle-to-death overs.
Ravichandran Ashwin will have a point to prove after many deemed his international career in white-ball cricket is over.