Battle of Unequals: DC look for a win as they take on formidable CSK

Battle of Unequals: DC look for a win as they take on formidable CSK

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Delhi Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant and his teammates during the IPL match between Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur, on March 28, 2024.

Delhi Capitals will be aiming to rejig their out-of-depth batting order by bringing Prithvi Shaw in the mix against the defending champions Chennai Super Kings in what could be safely termed as a ‘battle of unequals’ on Sunday’s Indian Premier League encounter.

DC has suffered massive losses against CSK in their last four meetings. These were not close encounters as the margins of defeat were massive — 91, 27 and 77 runs respectively. In three of these games, the core of the Delhi team has been more or less the same, barring their last meeting when Rishabh Pant wasn’t available. Hence a win against CSK would be considered to be a big upset in the tournament.

If CSK once again looks like a team to beat with all its bases nicely covered, it has been quite the opposite for the Capitals, which has been outplayed in both departments of the game.

Ricky Bhui, who was the highest scorer in the recent Ranji Trophy with 902 runs, has been out-of-depth this season. There is too much on the plate of David Warner and skipper Rishabh Pant is yet to find his groove. Mitchell Marsh’s time with DC for the past two seasons can’t exactly be termed consistent and the presence of Shaw will indeed add some muscle to DC’s batting against an attack comprising Mustafizur Rahman, Deepak Chahar, Matheesha Pathirana and Ravindra Jadeja.

If DC bring in Shaw, they can push Marsh as one down, which could lend a bit more solidity to the top-order but the real challenge will be facing the pace-off deliveries bowled by Mustafizur, who cleverly mixes his variety of cutters to make life miserable for the batters.

The problem with DC is lack of quality power hitters among domestic talents in case Pant fails to fire and also there isn’t much difference between Shai Hope and Tristan Stubbs, both of whom take time before going for the jugular.

Similarly DC’s death bowling is one of concern and save Axar Patel, whose economy rate is less than six in two games, none of the other bowlers have gone for anything less than 7.50 per over.

Anrich Nortje couldn’t hit the right length in the Royals game where DC lost it in the last five overs of their bowling innings. DC would need Ishant Sharma to come back as he could have some questions for Rachin Ravindra, who has started the tournament in imperious fashion.

Shivam Dube’s pyrotechnics will meet its match in Kuldeep Yadav’s guile and that will be one battle that cricket lovers would be waiting for.

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