Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals finished as the top teams on the points table, just as they were predicted at the half-way mark of the tournament, amid all the uncertainty, drama and number crunching that unfolded in the last couple of weeks. But the vulnerabilities of even the best teams in the competition were revealed, considering how the events unfolded. But the stakes are easy in Qualifier 1-you win and reserve a place for the final. While there is a one-loss buffer, it’s not a path that any team would like to follow.
More than the Mumbai Indians did on their way to the playoffs, the Delhi Capitals faltered. A few players were injured, some went through a loss of form and others were unable to adapt well enough to the conditions’ volatile existence. They had maintained after their third loss that there was no need to panic and the emphasis had to be on the process. However, they felt the need to make improvements to the plans and the strategy after a fourth loss on the trot. And even as the Capitals ended their drought of victory, the power of their batting line-up, and particularly the inability of the openers to provide strong starts, still remains a question.
It was easier for the Mumbai Indians to afford the luxury of resting their prime fast bowlers in the last league match. “While it was an inconsequential match for them, it remains to be seen if their” worst season results “would have its after-effects on the team in a game with less than 48 hours of turnaround time. Dubai was the venue where MI had the least success, despite their commanding display this season, winning just one out of their three games. However, the good news, apart from the fact that both their defeats were in the Super Overs, is that the one win against Delhi was a thorough one. Currently, Mumbai is one of only two teams that Delhi hasn’t won a match this season against.
Delhi struggled with the sluggish nature of the wicket after a strong start, and the unpredictability of dew coming into play left them clueless with their plans. So much so that they’re more than willing to lose the toss. However, the addition of Daniel Sams helps them cover this aspect with the ball and allows them to field the best bowling attack in the tournament, probably. All their players have had an effect at some point or the other in the tournament, like Mumbai Indians, ensuring that reliance on some players is not too high. What, however, remains to be seen is whether to ensure a full success, they will all show up together on the day.
When: Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Capitals, Qualifier 1, Thursday, November 5, 2020, 19:30 IST.
Where: Dubai International Stadium.
What To Expect: Mumbai Indians have succeeded in posting 170 + totals at the venue, even in their defeats. The wicket’s sluggish nature could challenge the batsmen and there still remains the question mark over dew. While there’s not going to be a lot of wind, it is predicted that the temperature will hover in the late 20s, which should not be checked on the players.
Mumbai Indians: After returning from a hamstring injury in the game against SRH, Rohit Sharma did not look in trouble. He should lead the playoff unit, which is likely to see Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult and Hardik Pandya return as well.
Likely XI: Quinton de Kock (wk), Rohit Sharma (c), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile/James Pattinson, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah
Delhi Capitals: Delhi Capitals reaped the benefits of his inclusion in the bowling line-up even as Daniel Sams proved costly in the death overs. With Shimron Hetmyer likely to stay on the bench, DC would likely go unchanged.
Likely XI: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Daniel Sams, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje
Did You Know?
– A victory will earn Delhi its maiden appearance in the final-the only side from the original eight franchises not to make it to the final yet.
– This season, Rishabh Pant hit only three sixes to death (over 16-20) while Kieron Pollard hit 20 and Hardik Pandya hit 14.
What They Said:
“Our bowling line-up is also as good as anyone in the tournament and I think we’re the team that nobody really wants to play because they know we’re doing well and we can do some harm. We won close games and that makes a big difference.” Shane Bond, the bowling coach of Mumbai Indians.
“We are one of the best teams in the tournament and we need to stick to the basics and the results will come if we try to execute our plans.” Shreyas Iyer, captain of the Delhi Capitals.