If the last IPL 2020 league matches were to be taken as a guideline, Delhi Capitals should be a happier bunch. They came up with a critical win in that contest, going past Royal Challengers Bangalore at a canter to make it to the No. 2 spot on the list. Mumbai Indians, who qualified way before everyone else, did everything wrong in their last league match against SunRisers Hyderabad, going down to an unreal 10-wickets loss which couldn’t have been great for their mental make-up. That said, MI are way too professional to let this really affect their mood, but winning is a habit, which can get dented by a badly-managed game.
DC too would be careful of falling back to the fag end of the league, when they couldn’t buy a win, and needed an underwhelming RCB to pave their way into the top-two position.
DC have suddenly found some life on top of the batting. One still wonders how and why Prithvi Shaw still holds on to the opening slot, but Shikhar Dhawan has suddenly found form and using Ajinkya Rahane as one-drop worked against RCB.
As for the bowling, it could be interesting to see how the spinners pan out, since as the tracks begin to wear down, the slower bowlers will be decisive.
Even their fast duo of Kagiso Rabada, on top of the Purple Cap list, and Anrich Nortje have opted for slower stuff at crucial times.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel will surely be crucial.
MI’s spin attack of Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya looks a shade better, though Pandya is more of an all-rounder, and both looked off the boil against SRH.
As for the batting, MI has it all, from Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock up top, to Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya to finish off. Not a lot should be read into the MI batting’s collective failure against Hyderabad.
This is not the end for either side, but being in the final and getting extra time to recuperate and strategise will be worth gold dust.
The losers will still have a shot, as per the format, but they will be playing more and have little recovery time.
Also, history costs for nothing now. Even this year’s league results between the two sides stands for little now. This is the big one.
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