IPL 2021L Confident Delhi take on resurgent Punjab

Ayaz Memon/Mumbai
Filed on May 1, 2021
Prithvi Shaw is one of the top performers in this IPL. — PTI

Ashwin is out of the tournament, and Mishra missed the last game

Delhi Capitals posted a commanding victory over Kolkata Knight Riders in their last match and look in top form. Prithvi Shaw’s dazzling knock, including 6 fours in an over from Shivan Mavi, his mate from the under-19 World Cup winning team of a few years back, would have put Ponting and Pant in the right frame of mind for the tournament going ahead.

It had appeared that DC were going off the boil a bit. Dhawan’s run scoring was plateauing, Smith was lacking rhythm, Stoinis wasn’t getting the big shots and big scores. Hetmeyer’s knock against RCB and then Shaw’s against KKR has removed concerns about the batting.

The bowling is still below par what with Rabada not getting wickets regularly. Ashwin is out of the tournament, and Mishra missed the last game. Avesh Khan has been the pick of the attack, and Ishant Sharma has bowled with immaculate control. But DC will want Rabada to hit form soonest.

When these teams met the first time this tournament, DC won by 6 wickets chasing 196, Dhawan scoring a match-winning 92, so there could be a psychological advantage to exploit. But Punjab will take succor from the manner in which they beat high-fliers RCB on Friday.

Skipper K L Rahul, highest run getter currently in the tournament, smashed 91 not out. In the earlier match against DC he had made 61. If opponents don’t get him early, Rahul has shown a propensity to bat almost to the end, and help his team to big scores.

The problem for Punjab is that the batting has every now and then become a one-man show. If Rahul fails, it’s no go. Gayle was brilliant against RCB, Hooda and Shah Rukh Khan have had the odd good innings. But Pooran has been a big disappointment. Overall, the batting needs to perk up.

The bowling’s improved tremendously from the first few games. Shami has been consistently good. The inclusion of leg spinner Ravi Bishnoi gave the attack more teeth, and in the previous game, young left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar created a sensation claiming the wickets of Kohli, Maxwell and A B de Villiers, apart from the 25 runs he had scored.

Punjab need the two points at stake desperately to get a move on in the tournament. A regimented effort can put the strong DC side under duress.

Players To Watch Out For:

PBKS: K L Rahul, Chris Gayle, Ravi Bishnoi

Delhi: Prithvi Shaw, Avesh Khan, Axar Patel

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