It’s a face-off between the pre-tournament favourites. It’s a face-off to open up a gap in the points table. No wonder then that the clash between defending champion Mumbai Indians and in-form Delhi Capitals on a Super Sunday would be as mouthwatering as the French Open grand finale.
Mumbai Indians may have won the IPL title a whopping four times while the Delhi outfit is the only franchise yet to make it to the IPL final. But when it comes to taking each other on, there’s little to choose between the sides. In the 24 IPL matches between the two sides, both have won 12 games apiece.
Besides being high on confidence and virtually every aspect of the game working for their respective outfit, both the teams will keep their fingers crossed over availability of a key Indian member of its side. Suryakumar Yadav, en route his Man of the Match-winning knock against Rajasthan Royals earlier in the week, took a blow on his helmet and couldn’t field during the title defence. The stylish batsman stressed on Thursday that he will be ready to go come Sunday, it remains to be seen if he has fully recovered from concussion.
The Capitals, on the other hand, will be sweating over Rishabh Pant’s availability. The ’keeper-batsman hobbled for the latter half of the Capitals’ defence against Royals on Friday night after apparently pulling his hamstring during the game. While the Capitals have remained tight-lipped about his fitness, the management will be hoping for Pant to be available. Pant will be critical not just with regard to maintaining the combination but also due to the fact that he has a better record against MI than Prithvi Shaw and Shreyas Iyer.
The key contest
It’s a no-brainer that the pace versus top-order will be on display all through the match. While the MI pace triumvirate of Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult and James Pattinson has been lethal so far, it will be tested by an in-form batting order, with every member of the Capitals’ top-six having come good so far. Similarly, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje – an on-song Proteas pace duo – will be planning to put brakes on Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock up front and Kieron Pollard and the Pandya brothers in the death.
Jasprit Bumrah. – BCCI/IPL
Besides, R. Ashwin’s mini-battle against the MI lefties could play a decisive role in in the outcome of the game.
Match No. 27
Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, October 11
Time: 7.30 pm
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Digvijay Deshmukh, Aditya Tare (wk), Saurabh Tiwary, Jasprit Bumrah, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Rahul Chahar, Chris Lynn, Hardik Pandya, Sherfane Rutherford, Anmolpreet Singh, Mohsin Khan, Mitchell McClenaghan, Prince Balwant Rai, Anukul Roy, Ishan Kishan, Dhawal Kulkarni, Trent Boult, Jayant Yadav, Suryakumar Yadav, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Pattinson
Delhi Capitals: Shreyas Iyer (c), Kagiso Rabada, Marcus Stoinis, Sandeep Lamichhane, Ishant Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Shimron Hetmyer, Alex Carey, Mohit Sharma, Prithvi Shaw, Lalit Yadav, Avesh Khan, Axar Patel, Tushar Deshpande, Rishabh Pant, Harshal Patel, Keemo Paul, Amit Mishra, Anrich Nortje, Daniel Sams