Ed Hawkins analyses the play-off decider from Abu Dhabi on Monday with the South African expected to go well...
"Considering his head-to-head record and superb form this tournament, we should not be too concerned about two successive games where Rabada has failed to take a wicket"
Delhi Capitals v Royal Challengers Bangalore
Monday November 2 14:00
TV: live on Sky Sports
If Delhi win their final group match they will qualify for the play-offs. Simple. They have lost their last four matches. Not so simple.
Confidence seems to be so low, particularly with the ba, that qualification may be irrelevant. It is hard to see themselves finding the skill and chutzpah to go on and win the thing from this point. Performances are getting worse.
After their bowlers were hammered by Sunrisers, against Mumbai on Saturday their batsmen were cowed again. They managed only 110. Game over. The nine-wicket hammering also smashed their run rate.
Shikhar Dhawan's magnificent run of form seems to have come to an end and that has heaped pressure on a line-up who had got too cosy with him doing all the hard work.
Probable XI Shaw, Dhawan, Iyer, Pant, Stoinis, Hetmyer, Axar, Harshal, Ashwin, Rabada, Nortje.
Bangalore are giving Delhi a good run for their money in terms of the most spectacular collapse award. It's now three successive defeats for a team which seemed nailed on for qualification. Like Delhi a win secures it. A defeat - again like Delhi - leaves them vulnerable to being overtaken on run rate.
Despite boasting gun batters like Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers, Bangalore are the slowest team between the overs of seven and 15 in terms of boundary runs per over - a criminal failing for the talent they possess.
At least Dale Steyn has been dropped once again. But they are still failing to get the balance right at this late stage. With Aaron Finch axed, Kohli should have moved up to open allowing Moeen Ali to come in and solve the issue of ponderous scoring. Shivam Dube also needs to return for the painfully slow Gurkeerat.
Possible XI Philippe, Paddikal, Kohli, De Villiers, Dube, Sundar, Morris, Udana, Chahal, Saini, Siraj
2020 DC 196-4 (Stoinis 53, Siraj 2-34) defended RCB (Kohli 43, Rabada 4-24)
2019 DC 187-5 (Iyer 52, Chahal 2-41) defended RCB 171-7 (Rabada 2-31)
DC 152-6 (Iyer 67, Saini 2-24) chased RCB (Kohli 41, Rabada 4-21)
Overall RCB 15 DC 9
There have been 18 games at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The first-innings scores (1-2 denote match won by team batting first or second) read: 185-2/164-2/195-2/194-1/84-2/125-2/163-t/148-2/162-2/164-1/167-1/193-1/154-2/191-1/162-1/142-2/195-1/162-2. When Kolkata were razed for 84 on the surface by RCB it looked as though wear and tear on the pitch was taking a heavy toll. But the grounds staff could have deployed a previously unused wicket with scores shooting back up again. If only we knew which strip was being used. A trend favouring the chaser is starting to show.
Delhi worth a risk
We expect the match odds market to make this a choice affair given the respective wobbles these teams are suffering. Who will hold their nerve? We need nerves of steel to play here, too.
Delhi could well be the answer if - and it's by no means certain - Bangalore are squeezed into odds-on. Kagiso Rabada's tremendous form against them and that go-slow by Bangalore could be the match-turning factors. If Delhi can come plus 2.01/1 in the chase - and we would expect that to happen in the first Bangalore powerplay - have a wager.
Kohli has a 37.5% win rate in the last three editions. Some might argue he is overdue a win but he copped three innings ago. What of AB De Villiers? He hasn't topped for four matches. His win rate over the same period is 35%. At Sportsbook's 11/5 (31%) Kohli is value. But the bigger edge is with AB at 11/4 (26.7%).
Rabada has been pushed out to 2/1 for top Delhi bowler. Considering his head-to-head record and superb form this tournament, we should not be to concerned about two successive games where he has failed to take a wicket.
Ed Hawkins IPL P-L