Delhi Capitals is all set to take on Punjab Kings at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday. While both teams made a winning start to IPL 2021, they both also had to face bitter defeat in their second matches.
Both Punjab and Delhi lost while playing at Wankhede, where the ground is known for its pitch being hard and flat. However, in the last two matches, seamers have been able to extract help from the pitch with the ball sticking in it on its way to the batsmen. With dew playing a role later in the evening, toss becomes crucial.
Both teams failed incorrectly assessing the pitch following which they were asked to bat first leading to sub-par totals. DC and PBKS will be aiming for a better batting display on Sunday after getting the idea of the worst and best of the pitch during the first two league games. DC and PBKS have similar traits as the two are top-heavy in batting. Delhi is dependent on Shaw, Dhawan & Pant, while Punjab heavily relies dependent on KL Rahul, Chris Gayle & Deepak Hooda. The middle-order struggles in both the dugouts, making it an engrossing contest.
Ajinkya Rahane and Marcus Stoinis will be under pressure with the bat after two poor outings. Meanwhile, Mayank Agarwal’s prolonged bad-patch along with Nicholas Pooran’s susceptibility to short balls are causes of concern for Punjab. With Anrich Nortje returning, after his negative tests, Delhi will probably be replacing Tom Curran to further strengthen bowling.
While Punjab Kings have a higher win percentage of 57.69, having won 15 out of 26 matches they have played against Delhi Capitals in the IPL. However, DC has been improving at a steady rate in the last two seasons, while Punjab is yet to live up to the hype. Delhi has the upper hand in IPL 2021, but if batting unit of Punjab has the capability of blowing away teams with ease.
Predicted Playing XI
Delhi Capitals – Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (c & wk), Marcus Stoinis, Lalit Yadav, Chris Woakes, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan
Punjab Kings – KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Jhye Richardson, Ravi Bishnoi, Riley Meredith, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh
Marcus Stoinis vs Mohammed Shami
Marcus Stoinis comes out to bat in the lower order, and Mohammed Shami is an excellent death bowler. Both will come up against each other in the crucial phase of the innings.
Arshdeep Singh vs Rishabh Pant
Arshdeep is Punjab’s in-form bowler as he took crucial wickets in both games, while Pant has been in good form for months. It will be interesting to see these two young players try to outwit each other.
Ravichandran Ashwin vs Chris Gayle
Ravichandran Ashwin has been tormenting left-handers across the globe, so his battle with Chris Gayle will be intriguing on Sunday. Ashwin has dismissed Chris Gayle five times in IPL history.