Delhi Capitals skipper Rishab Pant will strive to show better tactical acumen in Catch-22 situations against Punjab Kings’ “hit-hot-cold” in what promises to be a battle of fragile middle orders in IPL match here on sunday.
Both teams enter the “Northern Derby” of IPL after suffering defeats in their previous matches, but Delhi Capitals are definitely the better side on paper.
Pant, relatively inexperienced in the IPL captaincy, lost the plot in the last game, where he did not finish the quota of his best bowling Ravichandran Ashwin, and instead used the friendly average rhythms of Tom Curan.
As coach Ricky Ponting pointed out, he would expect better thinking “on foot” from the young captain.
The probable addition of Henrich Northier to the XI will only intensify Pant’s bowling attack, which lost orientation during the last match due to the lack of pace of the Koran on a slow track as a tool for Chris Morris and David Miller.
The Punjab Kings, on the other hand, suffered an inexplicable collapse against the Chennai Super Kings with the additional rebound of Deepak Chahar and a slight movement of the stitches causing the damage.
That was after a solid 200 plus total in the opening game.
The nature of the Wankhede track raises several questions for the best batsmen, as shown by the last two games with the basic moisture, supporting quality fast bowling.
Yes KL Rahul against Kagiso Rabada and Chris Wakes is bowling Chris Gale can be as tempting as Prithvi Shaw encountering the insidiousness of Mohamed Shami and Shikhar davan trying to upset a disciplined Arshdeep Singh.
Jade’s uncut and the Rajasthan Royals have shown that despite huge improvements, there are still some breakthroughs in Shaw’s armory and Arshdeep can be used to uncover this.
Both teams are the toughest in beating DC, dependent on Shaw, Dhawan and Pant to achieve most of the results, while the same position profile is held by KL Rahul, Chris Gayle and Deepak Hooda in the squad of the Punjab.
Even the weaknesses of the two teams are quite similar.
If Adjinkya Rahanelack of power and Marcus Stoinis“The indifferent show affects the middle line of DC, Mayank AgarwalProlonged bad patch, combined with Nicholas Puran’s susceptibility to short balls over his shoulder, is also not great news for Punjab.
The fight between the average orders in both dugouts will turn it into a fascinating bowling competition from DC, which is expected to last in the presence of North.
In the case of the Punjabi kings, save Mohamed Shami, the two expensive rhythms – Joy Richardson and Riley Meredith – didn’t exactly set the scene on fire.
Nor did Murugan Ashwin, a mysterious spinner who did nothing remarkable to force Pant and Ponting to have sleepless nights.
Anil Cumble and Rahul might like to think of Ravi Bishnoi as an option, but they should also consider the shorter borders in Mumbai, which can be devastating for spinning the wrist if their length is impenetrable.
Punjabi Kings: KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Prabsimran Singh, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Harpreet Brar, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh Ishan Porel, Darshan Nalkande, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Jhye Richardson, Shahrukh Khan, Riley Meredith, Moises Henriques, Jalaj Saxena, Utkarsh Singh, Fabian Allen, Saurabh Kumar.
Capitals of Delhi: Rishabh Pant (c & wk), Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shimron Hetmeier, Marcus Stoynis, Chris Wakes, R Ashwin, Aksar Patel, Amit Mishra, Lalit Yadav, Pravin Dubey, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Northje, Ishant Sharma, Avesh Khan, Steve Smith,, You can eat, Ripal Patel, Vishnu Vinod, Lukman Meriwala, M Siddarth, Tom Curran, Sam Billings.
The match starts: 19:30.