After a blip against Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals will be eager to get back to winning ways when they come up against Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday.
It has been a successful IPL campaign for Delhi Capitals till now. At the halfway stage in the season, they are second in the table with a positive net run rate. Shreyas Iyer’s men suffered the second defeat of the season last weekend against Mumbai Indians. The Delhi based franchise will be eyeing a swift return to winning ways when they face Rajasthan Royals on October 14 at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Rajasthan Royals will be in a buoyant mood after a nail-biting victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad last weekend. It was a crucial victory to keep RR in the hunt for a place in top. RR remains at the bottom of the table, however, a win on Wednesday will move them to the fifth position.
DC failed to accelerate in the death overs against MI. The batting unit has suffered a massive blow due to injury to Rishabh Pant. The young Indian batsman is unlikely to be fit on Wednesday, so Alex Carey will keep wickets while Shimron Hetmyer will have to sit out to accommodate Carey.
DC will be hoping that Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, and Shreyas Iyer score the bulk of runs as batting after them is slightly weak due to the absence of Pant.
Along with injury to Pant, DC has also suffered a significant blow in the bowling department as Amit Mishra and Ishant Sharma are ruled out for the rest of the tournament due to injury. Mishra has been an important player for DC as he restricts the flow of runs in middle overs. Axar Patel has done a fine job this season, so he will be the key spin bowler on Wednesday, while Kagiso Rabada remains the talisman of the bowling unit.
RR was bailed out by Rahul Tewatia and Riyan Parag in the last game. The top order remains a concern for Steve Smith as they are yet to click together in the last three-four games. On the back of a morale-boosting victory, Smith will be hoping that his form improves, while Sanju Samson is also back to scoring runs. The Australian batsman will be hoping that Ben Stokes also makes an impact after a quiet first game of the season on Saturday.
Jofra Archer has been the standout bowler for RR this season, bowling most number of dot balls in the first half of the season. Kartik Tyagi has shown promise in the last couple of games, while Jaydav Unadkat did reasonably well against SRH. The pace trio will have to be on top of their game to restrict DC to a meagre total.
DC had delivered a dominating performance against RR when these two sides met in the reverse leg of the fixture. Iyer’s men currently have an injury crisis, so RR will be looking to pile on the misery by taking points from them on Wednesday. It will be an intriguing game due to the narrative surrounding both teams.
By Kiran Thakare