IPL 2021 | Daniel Sams joins RCB bio-bubble after testing negative for Covid-19
17 Apr 2021
The Sunday night will offer a riveting contest between two sides hurting after a disastrous loss in their last game. The Delhi Capitals were submerged by poor death bowling while the Punjab Kings batsmen were blown up by a swinging Deepak Chahar in Mumbai.
KL Rahul-led Kings will be more hurtful of their debacle with the bat against the Sunrisers as they could never get back in the game and the Super Kings defeated them comprehensively.
On the other hand, the Delhi Capitals fought admirably with the ball and put the Rajasthan Royals under serious pressure before the Proteas duo David Miller and Chris Morris took the game away from them.
But, the underlying issue that plagued the Capitals in their last game was their batting alone and hence when KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant walk down the pitch at the Wankhede Stadium tomorrow, they will look back towards their respective units with a hope that they will turn up leaving behind the debacle in the last game.
The fearsome duo of Rabada-Nortje is back
Misfortune of an apparent false Covid-19 test report delayed the return of South African pacer Anrich Nortje who along with his countryman was set to walk back in the XI.
Both him and Rabada were superb throughout the tournament lasts season in the UAE and helped the Capitals’ campaign that ended only in the finals.
Both Rabada and Nortje were was used as enforcers with the new ball last year before their role separating and Rabada was assigned the task of bowling at the death while Nortje was used as an enforced in the middle phase of the game.
Rishabh Pant’s choices
Rishabh Pant would be delighted with the return of Nortje in the camp, but it will equally test his leadership on the choices he will make just two days old into his captaincy in the IPL.
In the last game, he dropped Shimron Hetmyer to play Kagiso Rabada and although Lalit Yadav arrested a collapse in the middle order, it could not match the value the West Indian left-hander could have brought with him.
Hetmyer’s exclusion made the batting look a lot thinner with Chris Woakes and Tom Curran batting at seven, eighth position.
Pant took a big punt on Tom Curran in order to maintain an incisive bowling attack. The move almost paid off well but another game for Curran seems unlikely with the return of Nortje.
The left handed dasher also made a tactical blunder on the field in the last game by not bowling out R Ashwin for his complete quota of four overs. Coach Ricky Ponting conceded it was a mistake on the team’s tactical part.
The captain who can’t do anything wrong this season with the bat will have to bring the best of his ideas to the forefront if the Capitals have to go a long way in this edition.
Kings blowing hot and cold
The Punjab Kings started their campaign on a dominating note with the likes of Deepak Hooda and the skipper Rahul himself going all guns blazing against the Royals.
They also held their nerves to defend the target in the face of a brutal and magnificent counter-attacking innings from Sanju Samson.
But, playing true to their legacy, Punjab imploded just in the very next game and were on the brink of a sub-hundred score against the Super Kings.
Punjab were unlucky with one of the opener Mayank Agarwal getting an unplayable delivery from Deepak Chahar while Rahul paying the price of a crime Chris Gayle committed of risking a single against Ravindra Jadeja.
The challenge will not be any simpler against the Capitals, and the top-heavy Kings will have to get their act together against the bowling attack comprised of Rabada, Nortje and Ravichandran Ashwin.
The Kings have employed the tactics of going in with a thin batting line up with Jhye Richardson batting as high as number seven—a position he has never batted in his career. The move boomeranged on them in the last game where the lack of depth in batting was exposed brutally by the Super Kings.
Delhi Capitals vs Punjab Kings: Match Details
Date and Time: April 18, 07:30 pm IST, 02: 00 pm GMT
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Broadcast and Live Stream: Star Sports and Hotstar
Pitch and weather
The pitches in the last two games have defied all the recent history of high-scoring games at the Wankhede Stadium.
Both the last two games of these sides turned out to be low-scoring affairs, however, a proper contest between bat and ball would not be a matter of concerns for both the fans and the administrators.
There was swing on offer for the new ball bowlers, especially at the start of the game between 7.30 PM to 8:00 PM period while as the ball got older, the surface started playing tricks and the bowler’s deception made batsmen paying for their mistakes of committing to strokes very early.
The pitch in the game between the Capitals and the Kings is likely to be the same and so is the overhead conditions that aid swing bowling at the start.
Both the sides have an impressive stock of pace bowlers to extract the best out of the surface and the air, and also quality batsmen in the top order to make it a contest to watch out for from the outset.
The Capitals will be rejoicing having Nortje back in the camp and most likely they will play both him and Rabada to get the best out of conditions in Mumbai. The move however will bring curtains to Tom Curran’s chances who was guilty of allowing Chris Morris to take the game away from the Capitals.
However, the team management will be debating on who among the two of Shimron Hetmyer and Chris Woakes should be the fourth overseas player in the playing XI.
Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (c & wk), Marcus Stoinis, Lalit Yadav, Chris Woakes, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan
The Punjab Kings need to relook their strategy of going in with specialists as it leaves them lacking in batting options in games where they have to endure collapse.
Jhye Richardson should not be batting at the number seven position and they will have to make a choice on playing one of Riley Meredith or Jhye Richardson to bring someone like Moises Henriques who can bring a lot of balance in the playing XI.
KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Moises Henriques, Jhye Richardson, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh
DC vs PBKS: Dream XI fantasy team
Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Chris Woakes, Marcus Stoinis, Avesh Khan, Mohammed Shami, Kagiso Rabada, Jhye Richardson
Captain: KL Rahul
Vice-captain: Rishabh Pant