Bombay: Delhi Capitals should expect more from their batters after a disappointing display in their previous win, while Lucknow Super Giants are eager to shake off its over-reliance on skipper KL Rahul as the two teams clash in the IPL here on Sunday.
Delhi has endured a rough few weeks with a mini-COVID outbreak in their camp and a no-ball controversy, but Rishabh Pant and his troops came out to march to a four-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders.
While the win boosted the Capitals’ sixth on the points list, playoff chances, the collapse of the middle class and the pursuit of a simple total will be a source of concern.
David Warner continued his sparkling form but fellow opener Prithvi Shaw, who despite looking good, was unable to convert his starts.
The Capitals have tried several batters at number three, including skipper Rishabh Pant, but haven’t found a suitable candidate for the job yet.
Mitchell Marsh, who has returned to the sidelines after his quarantine has ended, is expected to make it his own, but the Australian all-rounder must shake off the rust.
Pant himself has failed to play the explosive innings he is known for. He will have to take more responsibility, along with all-rounders Lalit Yadav, Shardul Thakur and Axar Patel.
Pant’s captaincy also provided some flak as he chose not to surrender Kuldeep Yadav, who posted stunning numbers of 4/14 in three overs, against KKR.
Delhi would be relieved that their confidence in the Rovman Powell as a finisher is finally paying off. After a string of low scores, the West Indian with a big hit nearly managed a near-impossible task against Rajasthan Royals before sealing the match against KKR.
Delhi’s bowling department, on the other hand, has done well. The bowlers, after leaking runs against the Royals, came back strong to lay the groundwork for a comfortable win.
Kuldeep is having its best IPL season producing match winning spells. The left-spinner has two four-wicket-hauls this edition, bringing his total to 17 wickets.
Khaleel Ahmed has been bowling economically, taking 11 wickets in six matches against an economy of 7.91. He has been well complemented by Mustafizur Rahman, while spinners Axar and Lalit have also played their part.
LSG, meanwhile, is on track to secure a play-offs, sitting at number three on the points list with six wins from nine games.
However, LSG hopes they can escape the over-reliance on Captain Rahul, who has been in sublime form.
Rahul has two centuries and fifty to his name this season, and his innings have been the foundation of LSG’s wins.
The skipper’s dependence is so great that all three of LSG’s losses came when Rahul failed to get going.
LSG has plenty of firepower in the form of Quinton de Kock, Ayush Badoni, Deepak Hooda and Krunal Pandya and they need to take more responsibility. They also have the multi-talented duo of Jason Holder and Marcus Stoinis.
In the bowling department, Krunal and pacer Dushmantha Chameera did well to help defend a modest total against Punjab, but Ravi Bishnoi was on the expensive side.
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.
Lucknow Super Giants: KL Rahul (c), Manan Vohra, Evin Lewis, Manish Pandey, Quinton De Kock, Ravi Bishnoi, Dushmantha Chameera, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mohsin Khan, Mayank Yadav, Ankit Rajpoot, Avesh Khan, Andrew Tye, Marcus Stoinis, Kyle Mayers, Karan Sharma, Krishnappa Gowtham, Ayush Badoni, Deepak Hooda, Krunal Pandya and Jason Holder.
The match starts at 3:30 PM.
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