IPL 2020 Qualifier 1 Preview: MI vs DC - Back to full strength, Mumbai Indians start firm favourites
All four of MI's mainstays, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult and Hardik Pandya will feature in their playing XI against Delhi.
As early as the halfway stage, it seemed that Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals would finish the double round robin stage as the top two teams. Both did make it to Qualifier 1 at last, but not without a sprinkling of drama.
DC stutter their way to Qualifier 1
Delhi Capitals lost four of their last five matches, including four defeats on the trot. The team which was looking settled to begin with was just able to qualify. A win against Royal Challengers Bangalore by 6 wickets in their last group match though would have given them some much-needed confidence.
The team made a few changes to their playing XI by bringing in Ajinkya Rahane, Axar Patel and Daniel Sams against RCB. Patel did his job while conceding 30 runs from is 4 overs, going at an economy rate of 7.40. Daniel Sams was a bit expensive, giving away runs at 10:00 RPO but his inclusion provides good balance to the Delhi outfit.
DC still on unsure footing
Ajinkya Rahane, after failing in his first few matches for Delhi, finally made a mark. He batted at number three, with Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan opening the batting. Shaw had another forgettable game and was dismissed for 9.
Dhawan and Rahane then had a close to 100-run partnership and almost saw DC home, with both losing their wickets to soft dismissals. Delhi will gain some momentum from the last outing but will still be on unsure footing, having lost four matches on the trot and will be cautious to begin with.
Mumbai exuding confidence
On the other hand, Mumbai Indians will be quite confident after finishing the group stage at the top of the table with 9 wins from 14 games. They did lose their last group match against Sunrisers Hyderabad but it came on the back of the team providing a few opportunities to their bench.
Bact to full strength
Mumbai rested both pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult against SRH, with James Pattinson and Dhawal Kulkarni getting a game. Their bowling looked toothless, after being hampered by dew. But, with Bumrah and Boult back for the Qualifier 1, Mumbai will be back to their best.
Rohit Sharma returned in the last game and though he could not score much, his return is a great sign for the franchise. Mumbai Indians are expected to prefer Nathan Coulter-Nile over Pattinson as Coulter-Nile looked better than the latter against Hyderabad.
Mumbai Indians are favourites to win the match and cruise to the final. Courtesy of finishing at the second spot, Delhi Capitals will have another go in Qualifier 2 if they do not manage to get the better of the Rohit Sharma-led side.
Here's the probable playing XI of both teams:
Mumbai Indians (MI): Quinton de Kock(wk), Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard(c), Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah
Delhi Capitals (DC): Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer(c), Rishabh Pant(wk), Marcus Stoinis, Daniel Sams, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje
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