The Chennai Super Kings finished second last on the points table last year with just 12 points and were ahead of the bottom-placed Rajasthan Royals on net run rate. They had won six matches and lost eight matches in the 14 league matches. The likes of Kedar Jadhav, Piyush Chawla and Harbhajan Singh have been released by the franchise and they have got in Moeen Ali, Krishnappa Gowtham, Cheteshwar Pujara, Harisankar Reddy and Bhagvath Varma in the auction. Just before the auction, they traded Robin Uthappa from the Rajasthan Royals. They have a good core with the likes of MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, Dwayne Bravo, Sam Curran and Ravindra Jadeja. In the last season, Faf du Plessis was the team’s leading run-scorer with 449 runs and was the only CSK player in the top 15. The second-highest scorer was Ambati Rayudu with just over 350 runs. Even the bowling department did not click as Sam Curran was the only player to feature in the top 15 as he bagged 13 wickets in 14 matches.
The Delhi Capitals on the other hand finished in the second position and were a part of the playoffs. Despite losing the 1st qualifier to Mumbai, they beat the Sunrisers in the 2nd qualifier to make it to the finals where they lost to the Mumbai Indians again. They finished the group stages with 16 points from eight wins. They released the likes of Keemo Paul, Sandeep Lamichhane, Alex Carey, Mohit Sharma and Tushar Deshpande. Apart from that, they traded out Harshal Patel and Daniel Sams to RCB. They had a pretty ordinary auction as they bought Steve Smith, Umesh Yadav, Ripal Patel, Vishnu Vinod, Lukman Meriwala, M Siddharth, Tom Curran and Sam Billings. But their core remains the same with Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Marcus Stoinis and Kagiso Rabada. Due to the unfortunate injury to Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant will dawn the captain’s armband. Shikhar Dhawan was the leading run-scorer for Delhi with 618 runs at an average of 44.14. Even the skipper Iyer chipped in with a valuable 519 runs. The South African pacer Kagiso Rabada was the leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 30 wickets.