Delhi Capitals face tough RCB test in must-win encounter

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By Webdesk

Big Picture: Capitals need Warner

Delhi Capitals’ problems start at the top. They are the second slowest scorers (run rate of 7.68) in the power play and their opening pair averages a shade under 26. They compete against the Royal Challengers Bangalore who are the most economical bowling team in the power play, with an economy of 7.29 to go with their 22 wickets.

While David Warner has been a constant at the top, his returns have dwindled as the tournament has progressed. In the first four games, he scored 209 runs and was the lone man for Capitals. But in the last five games, he has only added 99. Each of Capitals’ last three opening positions has been in the single digits – 0, 0, 1.

However, Warner has the most runs of any batter in the IPL against RCB – 839 in 21 innings – and is third most ahead of him against all IPL teams. His record in Delhi is also impressive – 885 IPL runs, the second highest number of any hitters at the venue in the IPL.

On the other hand, RCB is among the fastest scoring teams (run rate of 9.29) in the power play and their opening partnership averages 53.62 per sack. Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis have given them a good platform, but there is little consistency in the middle order other than Glenn Maxwell. And that may explain the reason behind the emergence of Kedar Jadhav as a substitute player.

Despite being a home game, the Capitals do not start as a favorite. They’ve lost three of their four home games this season and face an RCB side who haven’t lost to them since IPL 2021. It can’t get any tougher than this.

Team news: Mustafizur out for duty in Bangladesh

The left-arm seaman played just two matches in IPL 2023 for Capitals, but has now left for Bangladesh’s three-match ODI series against Ireland in Chemsford which begins next week. Mitchell Marsh missed the previous Capitals meeting due to illness and should be back when he recovers.

Meanwhile, Jadhav, who was brought in as a replacement for the injured David Willey, could play for RCB.

Capitals of Delhi WOWWWW (last five matches, most recent first)
Royal Challengers Bangalore WOWWWW

Capitals of Delhi

Phil Salt has three single digit scores – including two ducks – on either side of his half-century. But Capitals will likely stay on top with him and continue with Khaleel Ahmed as their Impact Player if they bowl first.

Probably XII: 1 Phil Salt (wk), 2 David Warner (capt), 3 Mitchell Marsh/Rilee Rossouw, 4 Priyam Garg/Yash Dhull5 Manish Pandey, 6 Axar Patel, 7 Aman Khan, 8 Ripal Patel, 9 Anrich Nortje, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Ishant Sharma, 12 Khaleel Ahmad

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Depending on how much buying surfaced, RCB could choose between Harshal Patel and Vijaykumar Vyshak as Impact Players. And they could use Jadhav to boost their batting if needed.

Probably XII: 1 Virat Kohli, 2 Faf du Plessis (capt), 3 Glenn Maxwell, 4 Suyash Prabhudessai, 5 Anuj Rawat//Kedar Jadhav6 Dinesh Karthik (week), 7 Mahipal Lomror, 8 Wanindu Hasaranga, 9 Karn Sharma, 10 Mohammed Siraj, 11 Josh Hazlewood, 12 Harshal Patel/Vijaykumar Vyshak

Location and conditions

The average first innings score this season in Delhi is 165. However, the average winning score goes up to 197. The field tends to be on the faster side with both pacers and spinners having something of interest. While fast bowlers have picked up 29 wickets compared to the spinners’ 22, the pacers’ economy has been over nine at a time as opposed to the spinners’ 6.7.

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