Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings will aim to bounce back from defeats in their previous game when they face each other in the Indian Premier League at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday.
Rishabh Pant, relatively inexperienced in terms of IPL captaincy, will be keen to rally his troops while KL Rahul will also want his team to forget the heavy defeat to Chennai Super Kings.
The likely addition of Anrich Nortje in the playing XI will bolster Delhi’s bowling attack, which succumbed to the pressure in the final overs against Rajasthan Royals.
Punjab Kings, on the other hand, suffered a major batting collapse against CSK with Deepak Chahar’s seam movement causing the damage. This was after a solid 200-plus total by PBKS in their opening game.
The nature of the Wankhede track is posing a few questions under lights for top-order batsmen as the last two games have shown with underlying moisture aiding quality fast bowling.
So KL Rahul versus Kagiso Rabada and Chris Woakes bowling to Chris Gayle could be as enticing as Prithvi Shaw encountering the guile of Mohammed Shami and Shikhar Dhawan trying to unsettle a disciplined Arshdeep Singh.
|Mat||Delhi wins||Punjab wins|
Both teams will hope for their top order to fire. Shaw, Dhawan and Pant are key players for Delhi, while KL Rahul, Chris Gayle and Deepak Hooda will look to up the ante for Punjab.
Even the weaknesses of both the teams are pretty similar. If Ajinkya Rahane’s lack of power-hitting and Marcus Stoinis’ indifferent show is affecting the DC middle-order, Mayank Agarwal’s prolonged bad-patch coupled with Nicholas Pooran’s susceptibility to short balls over his shoulder are not great news for Punjab either.
The middle-order’s struggles in both the dugouts will make it an engrossing contest with DC bowlers expected to hold sway in Nortje’s presence.
For Punjab Kings, save Mohammed Shami, the two high-priced pacers – Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith – haven’t hit their peak yet.
Anil Kumble and Rahul may like to think of Ravi Bishnoi as an option but they also need to factor in the shorter boundaries in Mumbai, which can be tough on wrist spinners.
Punjab 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.
Delhi Capitals: Rishabh Pant (c & wk), Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Chris Woakes, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Lalit Yadav, Pravin Dubey, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Ishant Sharma, Avesh Khan, Steve Smith, Umesh Yadav, Ripal Patel, Vishnu Vinod, Lukman Meriwala, M Siddarth, Tom Curran, Sam Billings.
Match Starts: 7:30 pm.
(With inputs from PTI)