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“The-’unwanted’-streak-is-over” moment awaits Mumbai, Delhi

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Last updated on 10 Apr 2023 | 11:25 AM
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“The-’unwanted’-streak-is-over” moment awaits Mumbai, Delhi

Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals are yet to win a game in this year’s IPL

There is an unwanted streak to be broken, with both Delhi Capitals and Mumbai Indians eager to get their first win of the Indian Premier League 2023 when they come face to face against each other at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Tuesday (April 11). The two franchises have hardly done anything right and are languishing at the bottom of the points table. 

Delhi and Mumbai haven’t just been poor, they have been terrible. Honestly, they haven’t looked like the sides that belong at this level. David Warner and Co. have lost all their three encounters by significant margins, while Mumbai were hammered by Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings. Both sides are desperate for those two points, but they will have to get their combination right for that to happen. 

Things to watch out for

Messed-up selections

Delhi and Mumbai have made some strange calls when it comes to selecting their XIs. Let’s talk about the five-time champions first. Mumbai dropped Nehal Wadhera after his impressive cameo in the first game and brought in overseas batter Tristan Stubbs against Chennai. The South African batted at No. 8, while they could have easily used Dewald Brevis in the middle order.

Mumbai have struggled heavily in the middle overs (7-15) in IPL since 2022. Amongst all teams, they have the worst scoring rate (7.4) and second-least average (22.7) in this phase. Tilak Varma has been superb since his debut but the left-hander could surely use some help with Suryakumar Yadav, who is struggling for runs. 

Then you have Delhi, who have used the second-most number of players (16) so far in this competition. They have constantly juggled between Mitchell Marsh, Rovman Powell and Rilee Rossouw, while neither Sarfaraz Khan nor Abhishek Porel has sealed that wicket-keeper’s spot. On top of that, why would you go back to Manish Pandey instead of trying someone like Yash Dhull?

MI need more from Rohit, Kishan, SKY

Mumbai have the worst bowling average (66.2), balls/wicket (41.4) and economy rate (9.6) in the tournament so far but we always knew they were going to struggle in this department. However, they should be more disappointed with how most of their batters have performed so far, especially the likes of Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar. The trio has managed only 80 runs between them at a strike rate of 106.6. 

We are talking about three batters who are currently part of India’s white-ball set-up. Rohit has been mediocre in IPL since 2017, while Kishan is averaging just 13.25 in eight T20s this year. Meanwhile, SKY had a god-like 2022 but has scores of 1, 15, 0, 0 and 0 in his last five innings in competitive cricket. His battle against Axar Patel will be interesting as SKY averages just 17.5 against left-arm spin in IPL since 2020.

DC’s poor batting display

Delhi have the worst batting average (17.2), balls/wicket (13.8) and balls/boundary (6.9), and the second-worst scoring rate (7.5) in this year’s IPL. Warner (158 runs @ 52.67) is the only DC batter with over 60 runs. In fact, the left-handed opener is the only DC batter with an average of more than 20 this season (minimum of two innings). However, due to the lack of support from other batters, Warner’s SR has dropped to just 117.

With Warner being the lone warrior in the batting department, Delhi would need others to step up big time. Prithvi Shaw only has 19 runs in three innings, while Rossouw, Marsh and Powell haven’t done anything fruitful either. Manish Pandey got a game against Rajasthan Royals but was dismissed for a golden duck. Hence, why not try Dhull? The 20-year-old has 363 runs in eight T20s at an average of 72.60 and a strike rate of 131.52.

Ground details

The Arun Jaitley Stadium has hosted five IPL encounters since 2021 and the batters here have scored runs at an average of 39.9 and a strike rate of 156.6, while a wicket has fallen every 25.5 deliveries. The fast bowlers and spinners have both been expensive (economy rate - 9.2) at this venue but the latter have a slightly better average (40.2 v 36.1) and balls/wicket (26.1 v 23.5).

This season, the Capitals hosted Gujarat Titans and the surface had something for both seamers and spinners. The likes of Mohammed Shami, Alzarri Joseph and Anrich Nortje were all amongst wickets, while Rashid Khan too claimed three scalps. Four of these five games have been won by the side batting second, which is exactly what Gujarat did earlier this season.

Tactical nous

Playing for India and Mumbai Indians, Kishan has an average of just 18.2 and a strike rate of 79.8 against off-spin in T20s since 2022. Warner could easily throw the ball to Lalit Yadav who is more than handy with his off-spin. In fact, Kishan's partner Rohit has been even more terrible against this bowling type - an average of 8.2 and a strike rate of 110.8.

Shaw has found it tough to play left-arm pace throughout his career. He has been dismissed 11 times since his debut in 2018 IPL. Out of the 11, 10 dismissals have been inside the powerplay. He was dismissed by Trent Boult in the first over in the previous game. What's more, against MI, the opener has scored just 128 runs in 10 innings at an average of 12.8.

Probable XIs

Delhi Capitals - David Warner (c), Prithvi Shaw, Manish Pandey/Yash Dhull, Rilee Rossouw, Rovman Powell, Lalit Yadav, Axar Patel, Abishek Porel (wk), Anrich Nortje, Kuldeep Yadav, Mukesh Kumar.

Mumbai Indians - Rohit Sharma (c), Ishan Kishan (wk), Cameron Green, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Tim David, Nehal Wadhera, Arshad Khan, Jofra Archer (subject to fitness)/Riley Meredith, Kumar Kartikeya, Jason Behrendorff.

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