The season’s quickest scoring powerplay teams could have a lot more bite on a truer surface
Delhi Capitals will be bouncing right about now. Very few things in the IPL give as much confidence – and a thirst for even more action – like a Super Over victory. Plus with the shift to Ahmedabad, their batters are likely to enjoy much better conditions than they encountered in Chennai. Shikhar Dhawan is the top run-getter this season having played on slow, low, turning pitches. Imagine the damage he can do on a true one.
Royal Challengers Bangalore’s firepower needs no hyping up. If conditions will suit the Capitals, they will definitely suit the likes of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell as well. This year they’ve been able to find a first XI that plugs all the gaps that existed previously. The over-dependence on Kohli and de Villiers isn’t so stark. Their bowling is much more balanced. Morale is high and so is their ambition.
As far as great contests go, this is all very neatly set up.
In the news
Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa have cut short their stints with the Royal Challengers and have chosen to go back home to Australia for “personal reasons”.
R Ashwin is also unavailable having stayed behind in Chennai to support his family who are “putting up a fight against Covid-19”
Dhawan performed post-match presentation duties on Sunday night with Rishabh Pant “unwell.” Although the Capitals skipper batted well in both normal and extra time against Sunrisers Hyderabad, it is unclear if he has recovered from his illness.
Delhi Capitals: 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Prithvi Shaw, 3 Steven Smith, 4 Rishabh Pant (capt & wk), 5 Marcus Stoinis, 6 Lalit Yadav, 7 Axar Patel, 8 Kagiso Rabada, 9 Avesh Khan, 10 Anrich Nortje, 11 Amit Mishra
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 1 Virat Kohli (capt), 2 Devdutt Padikkal, 3 Washington Sundar, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 AB de Villiers (wk), 6 Dan Christian, 7 Kyle Jamieson, 8 Harshal Patel, 9 Mohammed Siraj, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Navdeep Saini/Shahbaz Ahmed
The match-up between AB de Villiers and Axar Patel in T20 cricket goes 59 runs in 60 balls and one dismissal. Those numbers should persuade the Capitals to save their left-arm spinner for RCB’s prolific finisher.
Washington Sundar could be a key bowler for the Royal Challengers. He has a good record against Dhawan (33 runs in 41 balls, no dismissals) and Rishabh Pant (29 runs in 21 balls, one dismissal).
Stats that matter
- The Capitals’ run-rate of 8.4 in the powerplay is the second-best this season. Their opponents on Tuesday are the only team who have scored quicker.
- In each of his previous IPL seasons since 2017, Mohammed Siraj barely managed to keep his economy rate in single-digits. In 2021, he gives away only 6.5 runs per over and 54% of his deliveries are dot balls. His increased control has given Royal Challengers a very useful weapon, especially in the death overs.
- Pant needs two sixes to reach a tally of 100 as wicketkeeper-batsman. Shaw needs eight runs to score 1000 in the IPL.
- Devdutt Padikkal has become a serious hitter of spin bowling. In IPL 2020, he was content hitting a boundary every nine balls of spin he faced. This year he’s finding that fence every 3.7 balls. His aggression is why taking the pace off against RCB, which used to be a good tactic, may not always work.
Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo