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Chennai sweating over MS Dhoni fitness for IPL clash with Delhi Capitals

The India wicketkeeper has already missed two games this season due to back spasms and illness

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Chennai Super Kings are braced to again be without MS Dhoni for the clash with Indian Premier League table-toppers Delhi Capitals.

The 37-year-old is still suffering from the same fever which forced him out of the 46-run defeat to Mumbai Indians last week.

Dhoni had previously been absent for the away game at Sunrisers Hyderabad - also a defeat this time by six wickets - due to back spasms which he must manage to ensure he is fit for the upcoming World Cup with India.

Though the wicketkeeper, who has scored 314 runs and claimed nine dismissals in 10 appearances for the Super Kings, has made significant improvements this week coach Stephen Fleming is considering alternatives.

"He’s been pretty sick during this week," said the Kiwi. "We will make a call on him tomorrow [Wednesday]. He is progressing which is good. 

"Yes, we have. Though it’s one game, here and there, that can be disruptive.

IPL

"If it’s two-three games in a row, you start preparing differently. Dhoni’s late pullout last game and also we have other big players who haven’t fired yet.

"That’s an exciting aspect for us to work on those players who have got great IPL records up to speed. We can get them firing in the last four games. 

"Sometimes you mask your holes. While missing someone like Dhoni, you can't pretend that you have a replacement for him. That would be wrong. 

"We haven't over-analysed it. It's very simple; if Dhoni's not playing other players need to step up."

Ravindra Jadeja, who also missed the loss to Mumbai due to illness, has returned to training and is expected to feature.

The clash at the MA Chidambaram Stadium sees the top two in the IPL standings go head-to-head in what could be a dress rehearsal for Qualifier 1, due to be played on May 7 in Chennai.

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