Someone’s loss is another’s gain. Not that Mumbai Indians would not have qualified otherwise, but Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) party-spoiling victory over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Thursday sealed them the playoff berth officially. With a marvellous net run rate (+1.18) against their name, MI are easily eyeing a top-two finish. Team balance is a rare luxury, but if there is one team that could confidently claim about possessing a balanced bunch, it would be Mumbai. And that is despite their mainstay Rohit Sharma’s unavailability.
In what was a high-octane, much-anticipated clash of the season, MI handed RCB a 5-wicket defeat to set their momentum rolling. The Mumbai Indians are a group of habitual winners. Although, that is everywhere but Dubai – where they are set to play their Saturday clash against the Delhi Capitals. In this edition, Mumbai Indians have not clicked in Dubai, and they have lost both their games, though both the defeats have come in a Super Over. With their qualification confirmed, the battle for them is only meant to keep their run maintained, and perhaps give a shot to those warming the bench.
On the other hand are the Delhi Capitals (DC), who were sailing miles ahead of others not too long ago, suddenly seem to be stuck in the middle of an edgy run, having lost three in a row. Their labour in the early days has granted them a cushion, and they are still comfortably third in the table with two to play in the league. But whether they would be able to ensure a top-two finish for themselves like their immediate opponents? That would rely upon whether they manage to shrug off the pressure after a hat-trick of losses.
Despite staying on the top of the table for quite some time, the Capitals have failed to stay on top of their game. A win or defeat is an obvious consequence in sports, but what would pinch them the most is the margin of runs with which the oppositions have won the games by. A 59-run defeat against KKR followed by a graver 88-run defeat against SRH should be enough of an eye-opener. They still have time, but it is a cruelly competitive tournament. DC must search for answers soon.
Pitch and conditions
This being a day affair, there will no dew factor for the teams to be wary of. In all the day games at this venue this year, the teams chasing have ended up winning, and this might play on the mind of the captain winning the toss. The track has dried and slowed down considerably, although an aggressive approach from the onset (chosen by SRH in their encounter against DC), might reap some beneficial results.
Playing Combinations for DC vs MI
The Capitals’ management needs to ascertain whether the pair of Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan is the apt choice or not. Rahane has been off-colour in all the outings thus far, whereas Dhawan, after a sublime run in four games, has lost his Midas touch in the last two. The patchy form of Shimron Hetmyer is another concern for the team. Marcus Stoinis and Shreyas Iyer have played their roles well barring an odd miss.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Tushar Deshpande have been inconsistent, and DC might want to bring back Harshal Patel at the expense of the latter. Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje have been throwing fire apart from the rare off day in the last fixture.
Probable XI- Ajinkya Rahane/Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Rishabh Pant (WK), Shreyas Iyer (C), Axar Patel, Kagiso Rabada, Ravi Ashwin, Tushar Deshpande/Harshal Patel, Anrich Nortje
Any tinkering in MI’s setup looks improbable, unless they want to give chances to some players. For them, Quinton de Kock has been in the runs whereas, Ishan Kishan, in Rohit Sharma’s absence, has justified his position as an opener. Saurabh Tiwary must be itching to convert his starts into something of substance alongside Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard in the middle-order.
Jasprit Bumrah (20 wickets), Trent Boult (17), and James Pattinson (11) have been consistently bagging wickets, and they have been well-assisted by Rahul Chahar (14). Their otherwise-reliable all-rounder Krunal Pandya has not been able to perform too much, and he would want to get some form behind him going into the most crucial leg of the tournament.
Probable XI- Quinton de Kock (WK), Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Saurabh Tiwary, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard (C), James Pattinson, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah
DC vs MI Head to Head
Played- 25 | DC won- 12 | MI won- 13 | NR- 0
Match Timings- 3:30 PM (IST), 2:00 PM (Local).
TV– Star Sports 1, Star Sports 2, Star Sports 1 Hindi
Live Streaming– Disney + Hotstar VIP
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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