Ed Hawkins previews a crucial IPL clash for the Delhi Capitals against the holders Mumbai Indians in Dubai on Saturday afternoon...
"Krunal's wily brand of spin could pay dividends on a helpful surface. He also has solid head-to-heard form against Delhi so we should get a run for our money."
Delhi Capitals v Mumbai Indians
Saturday October 31 10.00
TV: live on Sky Sports
A spectacular fall from grace is nothing new in IPL history. Previously Kings XI were specialists in blowing it but Delhi are giving them a good run for their money this year.
It's now three defeats in a row for the Capitals and, although the odd slip here and there can be expected, the manner of their defeat by Sunrisers had the sirens wailing. Delhi went down by a massive 88 runs after conceding 219.
The Capitals have two issues. First, they have been overly reliant on Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer for runs after Prithvi Shaw's poor form upset a settled opening pair. Second, they are starting to leak runs because of a weak third seamer. They could remedy both issues by promoting Marcus Stoinis or Rish Pant and dropping Shimrin Hetmyer for spinner Sandeep Lamichhane.
Probable XI: Rahane, Dhawan, Iyer, Pant, Stoinis, Hetmyer, Axar, Ashwin, Rabada, Nortje, Deshpande
Waiting on Rohit
Mumbai are the most powerful team in the competition and the only unit which can stop them claiming the title is themselves. From numbers one to 11 they have players who step up.
Even without Rohit Sharma, who is still suffering from a hamstring injury, there is no chink in the armour. Last time out against Bangalore the fabulous Suryakumar Yadav guided them home in a tricky chase. Lord knows why Yadav is not in the India team.
The middle-order engine room of Kieron Pollard and the Pandya brothers is interchangeable dependant on match-ups and their bowling unit is first-class. James Pattinson has come back in for Nathan Coulter-Nile, who got a little pricey. They are ruthless.
Probable XI De Kock, Hishan, Yadav, Tiwary, Pollard, Hardik, Krunal, Pattinson, Chahar, Boult, Bumrah
2020 MI 166-5 (De Kock 53, Yada 53, Rabada 2-28) chased DC 162-4 (Dhawan 69*, Krunal 2-24)
2019 MI 168-5 (Krunal 37*, Rabada 2-38) defended DC 128-9 (Dhawan 35, Chahar 3-19)
DC 213-6 (Pant 78*, McClenaghan 3-40) defended MI 176-9 (Krunal 32, Rabada 2-23)
Overall MI 12 DC 12
The Dubai first-innings scores this season (1-2 denote match won by side batting first or second, most recent first) read: 172-2/219-1/145-2/126-1/154-2/164-2/176-t/177-na/161-1/167-1/158-2/169-1/201-1/196-1/178-2/164-1/174-1/201-t/175-1/206-1/163-1/157-t. So much for runscoring slowing down. In the last two matches the side batting first has gone well, none more so than Sunrisers against Delhi. It makes us a little unsure about playing the innings runs markets, although risk will be low for Delhi under 140 if they bat first. We rate them as vulnerable to Mumbai's varied attack.
Mumbai should be too strong
Mumbai are 1.784/5 for victory to consolidate their position in the all-important top two. Remember, the first two-placed teams get two bites at qualifying for the final with the third and fourth-placed teams going into the eliminator.
No wonder Delhi are showing signs of nerves. Their early hard work puts them in grave danger and a defeat here would require them needing to win three in a row for glory.
It is a surprise to see Mumbai as big as they are and we expect their quality to shine through, particularly if they chase.
We rate Krunal Pandya a 4/1 shot on win rates and his wily brand of spin could pay dividends on a helpful surface. He also has solid head-to-heard form against Delhi so we should get an run for our money.
If Rohit is not fit, Ishan Kishan is likely to hold on to his opening slot. If so, the 16/5 will look big. You'll have to take a chance pre-toss, though. Yadav is 7/2 for a repeat.
Kagiso Rabada is the top wicket-taker in the tournament with 23 victims. Incredibly, not one has come in the first powerplay. Sportsbook have boosted his price from 6/4 to 17/10 for top DC wicket-taker.
Best bets for Saturday's IPL action on Cricket...Only Bettor
Ed Hawkins IPL P-L