poona: Delhi Capitals will have to put the COVID scare in their camp behind them as they take on a hot and cold Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League here on Wednesday.
Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh had to be hospitalized after testing positive for COVID, bringing the total to four cases in the Capitals camp.
However, the other team members sent back negative tests on Monday and all IPL stakeholders will hope it stays that way when another round of testing is conducted on Tuesday.
Warner, Prithvi Shaw and Skipper Pant take on a powerful DC lineup against a Punjab unit that boasts of Shikhar Dhawan, in form Liam Livingstone and Shahrukh Khan.
While both teams aim for a return to winning ways, the batting unit that does well could be the difference.
Punjab could be bolstered by the return of regular skipper Mayank Agarwal, who missed the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad due to a toe injury.
A flamboyant Dhawan was in his element against Mumbai Indians, but consistency was an issue for the senior opener.
The south leg, who failed against SRH, will try to give the squad a solid start along with Mayank, who would also like to take the varied bowling attack in Delhi to cleaners.
The Punjab middle order will have to take more responsibility and find substantial runs.
Jitesh Sharma has already shown that he can be a good finisher. But except for Livingstone, who made a solid 33-ball 60, others faltered against SRH and the team management would expect more from them.
But the task for Dhawan and his company will not be an easy one as they face off against in-form Kuldeep Yadav, who has taken 11 wickets so far.
Axar Patel and pacer Shardul Thakur, who has four wickets, can also ask them questions, along with speedster Khaleel Ahmed.
However, Muztafizur Rahman, who has leaked 48 runs against RCB, must recover.
The Punjab bowlers led by Kagiso Rabada have done well. But people like Vaibhav Arora, Arshdeep Singh and Rahul Chahar, who has nine wickets, should watch the money.
Equally crucial will be the role of speed bowling all-rounder Odean Smith, who has not been at his best in the IPL thus far.
Punjab has three wins and as many losses from six matches.
Meanwhile, this is a mixed season for Delhi. The Pant-led side didn’t look too threatening and two wins from five matches are no proof of their skills.
The roles of Warner and Shaw will be extremely crucial.
Warner goes into the game on the back of a 38-ball 66 against RCB and has provided the team with flamboyance at the top.
Ditto for Shaw, who had a failure in the last game after back-to-back 1950s. Capitals management would hope the two fire together.
For Delhi, a lot will also depend on how Pant performs. He seemed in his element when he made a 17-ball 34 against RCB, but a real blow is yet to come.
With Marsh not there, they had to find a suitable number three and Mandeep Singh or Sarfaraz Khan could be an option.
Teams (of): Punjab Kings: Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, Arshdeep Singh, Kagiso Rabada, Jonny Bairstow, Rahul Chahar, Harpreet Brar, Shahrukh Khan, Prabhsimran Singh, Jitesh Sharma, Ishan Porel, Liam Livingstone, Odean Smith, Sandeep Sharma, Raj Angad Bawa, Rishi Dhawan, Prerak Mankad, Vaibhav Arora, Writtick Chatterjee, Baltej Dhanda, Ansh Patel, Nathan Ellis, Atharva Taide, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Benny Howell.
Delhi Capitals: Rishabh Pant (Captain), Ashwin Hebbar, David Warner, Mandeep Singh, Prithvi Shaw, Rovman Powell, Anrich Nortje, Chetan Sakariya, Khaleel Ahmed, Kuldeep Yadav, Lungi Ngidi, Mustafizur Rahman, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Kamlesh Nagarkoti , , Lalit Yadav, Mitchell Marsh, Pravin Dubey, Ripal Patel, Sarfaraz Khan, Vicky Ostwal, Yash Dhull, KS Bharat and Tim Seifert.
Match starts at 7:30 PM.
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