On difficult surfaces, Mumbai Indians have relied on their bowlers to get them over the line but Matt Harris expects a more convincing batting display against Delhi
"Tight bowling at the death has allowed the reigning champions to defend low totals when defeat looked the more likely option."
Delhi Capitals v Mumbai Indians
Tuesday April 20th, 15:00 BST
Live on Sky Sports Cricket
Dhawan shines as Delhi go second
Delhi chased down 195 to beat Punjab Kings on Sunday and go second in the table with two wins from three. Those victories have followed a similar pattern with the Capitals overcoming big totals with more than an over to spare.
Shikhar Dhawan has been the chief destructor and he now averages 62 in this tournament with a strike rate in excess of 163. Dhawan isn't exactly carrying the team; others batted around him while the left hander made 92 from 49 balls, but Mumbai will be aware that his is the key wicket.
Bowling may be more of a concern but the Capitals' attack did well to keep Punjab under 200 after Kings' fast start.
Mumbai's bowlers to the rescue again
Mumbai Indians also have two wins from three but the victories have come in different circumstances to those of Delhi Capitals. Tight bowling at the death has allowed the reigning champions to defend low totals when defeat looked the more likely option.
In three matches at IPL 14, Mumbai's highest total is just 159 although they have been based exclusively in Chennai which has traditionally been one of the slower surfaces in the tournament. Nevertheless, supporters will want to see a commanding batting display and a more comfortable 40 overs.
There are a few options available to the selectors: Chris Lynn could potentially come in for Adam Milne but that would take a bowler out of the attack. Alternatively, Jimmy Neesham is waiting for a chance as a genuine all-rounder.
Testing times on slow surfaces
When the IPL was last played in India two years ago, the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium provided one of the slower scoring surfaces. The average first innings score came in at 144 with a highest total of 179 and this year has followed a similar pattern.
That average is up to 166 but it's early days and the figures are skewed by RCB's 204 against the Knight Riders. In general, it remains a tricky surface where anything in excess of 170 is a good total.
Interestingly, six of the seven games to be played here in this tournament have gone to the side batting first. That goes against the modern trend in T20 cricket but it suggests that the toss could be crucial.
They are the defending champions and the pre-tournament favourites so it's no surprise to see Mumbai Indians leading the match result markets. Mumbai are available at 1.784/5 while Delhi Capitals will be a tempting pick for many at 2.186/5.
We've seen that Delhi like to chase while Mumbai's successes have come in defending low totals. Trends are, however, meant to be broken and on Tuesday I'm looking for Mumbai to be far more effective with the bat. Chennai offers a difficult surface but it's unlikely to subdue the likes of Rohit Sharma, Quinton De Kock, Suryakumar Yadav and Kieron Pollard for too long.
The Capitals are a tempter but if Mumbai play to their full potential then they'll be impossible to compete with and I'm putting my faith in the favourites.
With Ishan Kishan struggling in three innings to date, there is a question for Mumbai's selectors to address. It must be difficult to ignore Chris Lynn who made 49 from 35 balls in the tournament opener while Saurabh Tiwary is also eager for a chance.
One man certain to keep his place is the impressive Suryakumar Yadav who is my tip in Mumbai's top batsman market. Yadav has opened at 4.57/2 on the exchange but is currently slightly better on the sportsbook at 4/1. Other options will include Rohit Sharma at 3.7511/4, Quinton de Kock at 4.03/1 and Kieron Pollard at 6.05/1.
Overall, I'm looking for Mumbai to improve as a batting unit with Suryakumar Yadav providing the biggest contribution.
Mumbai Indians' bowlers have excelled at the death but this time they need to strike early and remove Shikhar Dhawan inside the Powerplay. Dhawan is an obvious favourite at 2.77/4 to top score for Delhi but a cheap dismissal could leave some value elsewhere.
Rishabh Pant would be my preference at 4.57/2 while other options include Prithvi Shaw at 4.57/2 and Steve Smith at 5.04/1. I'm settling on two tips again but the Capitals' top batsman market is a good option if you're seeking a third pick.
Dhawan is an obvious favourite at 2.77/4 to top score for Delhi but a cheap dismissal could leave some value elsewhere.
Matt Harris' IPL P/L