Mumbai: Delhi Capitals would expect more from their batters after an underwhelming display in their previous win, while Lucknow Super Giants must be eager to shrug off over dependence on skipper KL Rahul when the two teams clash in the IPL here on Sunday.
Delhi have endured a tough couple of weeks with a mini Covid outbreak in their camp and a no-ball controversy, however, Rishabh Pant and his troops came out from it to march to a four-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders.
While the win boosted the Capitals’, who are sixth on the points table, playoff chances, the middle order collapse while chasing an easy total will be a cause of concern.
David Warner continued his sparkling form but his fellow opener Prithvi Shaw, who despite looking in good touch, hasn’t been able to convert his starts.
The Capitals have tried various batters at number three, including skipper Rishabh Pant, but are yet to find a suitable candidate for the job. Mitchell Marsh, who returned to the side after finishing his quarantine, 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 need to take greater responsibility along with the likes of all-rounders Lalit Yadav, Shardul Thakur and Axar Patel. Pant’s captaincy also drew some flak as he chose not to give Kuldeep Yadav, who posted superb figures of 4/14 in three overs, a fourth over against KKR. Delhi would breathe a sigh of relief that their faith in the Rovman Powell as a finisher is finally paying off. After a string of low scores, the big-hitting West Indian almost pulled off 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 strongly to lay the foundation for a comfortable win. Kuldeep is enjoying his best IPL season, producing match-winning spells. The left-arm spinner has two four-wicket haul this edition, taking his tally to 17 wickets. Khaleel Ahmed has been bowling economically, snapping 11 wickets in six games at the economy of 7.91. He has been complemented well by Mustafizur Rahman, while spinners Axar and Lalit have also played their parts.
LSG, meanwhile, are on course to sealing a playoffs berth, sitting at number three on the points table with six wins from nine outings.
However, LSG will hope they can breakaway from the overdependence on captain Rahul, who has been in sublime form. Rahul has two centuries and a fifty under his belt this season and his innings have been the bedrock of LSG’s wins.
Such is the dependence on the skipper that all three of LSG’s losses have come when Rahul has failed to get going. LSG do have enough fire power in the form of Quinton de Kock, Ayush Badoni, Deepak Hooda and Krunal Pandya and they need to shoulder 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 has been on the expensive side.
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