Chennai vs Delhi: Dwayne Bravo has been Dhoni’s unsung hero in IPL-5, opines Dean Jones

MS Dhoni and his men are on the march again, writes Dean Jones in The Times Of India, adding that confidence is everything in this form of the game, and a great win against Team Mumbai will make Chennai Super Kings hard to shift in their home match. “Team Delhi have quite a task on their hands. Dhoni seems to have the midas touch. He plays the big game well and can direct his team on the winning path. In all the finals/playoff games they have played in the IPL,” says Deano, adding Chennai have now played only one game in a week, and they will be fresh, buoyant and ready to rock.

“I think Dwayne Bravo has been their unsung hero. He has been most consistent with the bat and the ball. I coached Bravo during his stint for the Chittagong Kings in the Bangladesh Premier League. I can tell you he has great character, and he can lift the whole team. He is certainly a major cog in the yellow machine,” writes Dean Jones.

Meanwhile Hindustan Times writes that not the best of pals even in India colours, Sehwag and Dhoni will have more than pride to fight for. “Their respective teams have taken very different paths to get here. Delhi Daredevils have set the pace all season long, before the Knight Riders got the better of them in the first qualifier. Chennai, on the other hand, knew their destiny wasn't in their hands, and were dependant on other results going their way. One after the other, all the three teams that could have knocked Chennai off their perch fell short,” says a report in Hindustan Times.

“Both the skippers' form mirrors that of the team. In the first phase of the tournament, Sehwag was a man possessed. He went on a tear that saw him strike five fifties on the trot, a feat nobody had achieved in the IPL'S history. However, since that streak he has plateaued, and failed to reach double digits in three of his last five innings, with a best of 23. Dhoni, as his wont, was cool and composed in the first stage, even in the face of adversity. A man for the big stage, Dhoni almost appeared to be coasting through, playing himself lower down the order, for most of the season. It all changed in one innings. Cometh the hour, cometh the man, goes the old adage, one that would aptly sum up Dhoni,” says the paper.

Meanwhile Indian Express writes that it is the bowling that turns the contrast knob up to eleven. Delhi, almost incongruously for a T20 tournament in India, have a line up that consists almost entirely of pacemen — Morne Morkel, Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron, with the token left-arm spinner thrown in only grudgingly. Chennai, at the best of times have one bowler in that bracket — Ben Hilfenhaus. If Delhi's often lone spin bowler (Pawan Negi or Shabhaz Nadeem) almost feels a sense of apology when he is clubbed with the hulking fastmen that have flattened sides in the same bowling set-up, Chennai's battery of spinners will swagger out at Chepauk.

Also, Dhoni's men know a thing or two about crossing the penultimate hurdle — having made it to the final on three previous occasions. In the four seasons thus far, Sehwag's Delhi have reached this very stage twice, only to be turned back at the gates on both instances.