The Delhi Capitals won their final game in the group stage against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Monday night to get two more crucial points that enabled them to finish in second place on the IPL points table.
Delhi Capitals will now face the Mumbai Indians in Qualifier 1 which will take place in Dubai on November 5. It was important for the Capitals to secure the second place as it gives both teams in Qualifier 1 a second chance even if they lose as the losing team will have one more chance in Qualifier 2.
Delhi Capitals – Underdogs Against Mumbai
The Delhi Capitals will be thrilled to make it to the playoffs and credit must be given to young Shreyas Iyer who has done a good job in captaining this side. However, they will go into Qualifier 1 as underdogs as the Mumbai Indians are clear favorites to win their 5th IPL Championship in 2020.
The last time the Delhi Capitals played the Mumbai Indians was on 31 October when they were completely dominated in all departments of the game. Mumbai Indians won comfortably by 9 wickets and 34 balls to spare. The Capitals suffered due to a batting collapse and only managed to get to 110 which made the game a one sided affair.
Delhi Capitals will need to come up with a better batting strategy for Qualifier 1 as they need to prevent J Bumrah and T Boult from running through their top order. The two bowlers picked up 6 wickets between them. The Capitals have to be careful to not give them too much respect and not score of them as they do need to get a total in excess of 180 plus to put pressure on an explosive and talented Mumbai batting line-up.
They will depend heavily on S Dhawan who has been in splendid form this season as well as their captain S Iyer who is due for some runs in the playoffs. They brought back A Rahane in their final game against RCB and he delivered with 60 of 46 balls.
Rahane needs to fire in the playoffs and hold the middle order together. The ideal strategy for Delhi would be to have their explosive players in R Pant, M Stoinis to bat around Rahane.
Mumbai Indians Must Handle South African Pacers
The biggest threat to the Mumbai Indian batsmen is the fiery pace of KG Rabada and A Nortje. The Mumbai Indians had not trouble handling these two bowlers in their last game but if they end up having a good day on Nov 5, they could run through the Mumbai Indians.
Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav have done a good job for the Mumbai Indians and the Delhi pacers will be eager to send both batsmen back to the pavilion early. Rohit Sharma is likely to make his return for Qualifier 1 as he has been in the nets and looks to be good to go.
His return should definitely bolster the Mumbai Indians but at the same time might unsettle them especially if Sharma is not fully fit and falls early.
Based on current stats and on paper, the Mumbai Indians deserve to be the favorites and it is highly likely that they will win Qualifier 1 and book themselves a slot in the IPL Championship finals. However, expect Delhi to come back hard in Qualifier 1 as they will want to make amends for their poor showing against the Mumbai Indians in the last match and make a strong statement.
Key to Victory: The captaincy skills of Shreyas Iyer and his ability to lead from the front with the bat will determine whether Delhi wins or loses.