Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore will have to be at their best when they clash with a formidable Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.
While RCB will have to shrug off their 69-run defeat at the hands of Chennai Super Kings in their last game and start afresh, Delhi’s confidence would be boosted by their Super Over win against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday night.
Up against Delhi Capitals, RCB will need to address their middle-order woes to return to winning ways, in what could be touted as a battle of equals.
|Mat||DC wins||RCB wins||NR|
For RCB, it will be important that the openers – the in-form Devdutt Padikkal (171 runs) and Kohli (151 runs) – continue to provide a solid start. But the opening duo will need support from the middle-order, which crumbled against CSK.
The likes of Glenn Maxwell (198 runs), Ab de Villiers (129 runs), and all-rounder Washington Sundar (25 runs), will need to shoulder responsibility against a strong Delhi attack.
Maxwell fired in the first few matches and would be raring to go once again.
The RCB bowlers will be keen to forget the CSK defeat, especially the league’s leading wicket-taker Harshal Patel, who was taken apart by Ravindra Jadeja as he conceded 37 runs in his final over.
Pacers Mohammed Siraj and Kyle Jamieson will have to step up and deliver while spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar will also have to bowl tightly to contain a strong DC batting line-up.
RCB could also be tempted to play left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed in place of either Navdeep Saini or Dan Christian, as the Ahmedabad pitch could be conducive for the spinners.
For Delhi, their opener and tournament’s leading run-scorer Shikhar Dhawan (259 runs) would be eager to carry forward his fine form, while his opening partner Prithvi Shaw (166 runs) would be looking to get more runs under his belt.
DC boast of a strong middle-order comprising skipper Rishabh Pant (125 runs), Australians Steve Smith and Marcus Stoinis and West Indies’ Shimron Hetmyer, who can be highly destructive on their day.
In case the openers fail, the onus will be on Pant and Smith to steer the innings.
Delhi will miss the services of ace off-spinner Ashwin Ravichandra, who has left the tournament to support his family in the fight against Covid-19.
In his absence, left-arm spinner Axar Patel and experienced leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who had starred against Mumbai Indians, will need to shoulder greater responsibility.
Delhi is unlikely to tinker with their pace attack as Avesh Khan, with 11 wickets from five games, has been impressive and South African Kagiso Rabada can do the damage early.
The team management could play Lalit Yadav, who bowls off-spin and can also bat, in place of Ashwin, instead of opting for a pacer.
Delhi Capitals: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Chris Woakes, Shams Mulani, 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, Aniruddha Joshi.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers (W), Devdutt Padikkal, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Pavan Deshpande, Shahbaz Ahmed, MS Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Daniel Sams, Harshal Patel, Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Kyle Jamieson, Dan Christian, Suyash Prabhudessai, K S Bharat, Finn Allen.
Match starts at 7.30 pm IST on Tuesday.
(With inputs from PTI)
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