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Can Delhi stop recharged RCB and seal play-off berth?

Source: PTI
April 27, 2019 14:06 IST
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Delhi Capitals at the Ferozahah Kotla

IMAGE: Delhi Capitals's performance at home is woeful: just one victory, after two consecutive defeats, at the Ferozshah Kotla. Photograph: BCCI

Rishabh Pant and his ways, unconventional to the core, which have fuelled Delhi Capitals's rare title charge, will confront Virat Kohli, ironically, in a city where he learned the ABC of cricket on Sunday.

There’s been no looking back since Royal Challengers Bangalore arrested a long losing streak on April 19 in Kolkata. Kohli's Royal Challengers enter the Ferozshah Kotla on the back of a three-match winning run, but will still have to play out of their skins to stop Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly's rampaging outfit.

 

A win will ensure Delhi, currently third behind Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians, reach the cut-off limit of 16 points, needed for a play-off berth.

Delhi's performance at home is woeful, but having registered a win after two consecutive losses at the Kotla, the Shreyas Iyer-led outfit is high on confidence.

RCB will not be short on confidence either; the side seems to have regrouped successfully and found their groove. They won their last three games, defeating Kolkata Knight Riders, table toppers CSK and Kings XI Punjab. The victories briefly lifted them from the bottom of the table to the penultimate spot. They have eight points from 11 games.

"The only focus was to play well as a team. Losing six in a row really hurt us. Literally no one in the team has been part of such a streak. So we just refreshed, thought about just enjoying ourselves and the important thing now is not to take on any pressure," Kohli had said after RCB beat KXIP.

Delhi Capitals boast a solid batting line up, with a perfect blend of experience and youth.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

IMAGE: Royal Challengers Bangalore are on a revival, having won their last three games after six straight defeats. Photograph: BCCI

In their last match, chasing 192 against Rajasthan Royals, openers Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan laid the foundation with a 72-run stand which was followed by a blistering unbeaten 73-run knock by young Pant, who  proved a point after being left out of India's World Cup bound squad in favour of Dinesh Karthik.

With Dhawan and Shaw at the top and the likes of Iyer, Pant and Colin Ingram to follow, Delhi start as a confident batting unit.

In the bowling department, Delhi rely heavily on Kagiso Rabada although they have variety in medium pacer Ishant Sharma, seamer Chris Morris and spinners Sandeep Lamichhane, Amit Mishra and Axar Patel.

For RCB, the likes of AB de Villiers, Kohli, Moeen Ali and Marcus Stoinis will look to capitalise on Delhi's inconsistent record at home.

However, their bowling remains a worry. RCB were dealt a huge blow when newly recruited Dale Steyn, who was brought in to replace the injured Nathan Coulter Nile, was ruled out of the remainder of the IPL due to shoulder inflammation.

The side will draw inspiration from Navdeep Saini's match-winning penultimate over effort against KXIP. The fast bowler had taken the crucial wickets of Nicholas Pooran and David Miller, giving away only three runs to hand his side victory.

Squads:

Delhi Capitals: Shreyas Iyer (capt), Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Colin Ingram, Keemo Paul, Axar Patel, Rahul Tewatia, Amit Mishra, Kagiso Rabada, Ishant Sharma, Hanuma Vihari, Ankush Bains, Chris Morris, Sherfane Rutherford, Jalaj Saxena, Sandeep Lamichhane, Trent Boult, Avesh Khan, Nathu Singh, Bandaru Ayyappa, Colin Munro, Manjot Kalra.

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (capt), Parthiv Patel, AB de Villiers, Colin de Grandhomme, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Moeen Ali, Shimron Hetmyer, Dale Steyn, Shivam Dube, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Devdutt Padikkal, Himmat Singh, Milind Kumar, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Heinrich Klaasen, Pawan Negi, Washington Sundar, Akshdeep Nath, Prayas Ray Barman, Kulwant Khejroliya, Tim Southee.

Match starts: 1600 IST

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