The Delhi Capitals have lived up to their billing as one of the pre-tournament favourites. They've taken the league phase by storm so far, and have won all but two games.
Sitting pretty near the top of the table, DC’s IPL 2020 campaign has been the embodiment of teamwork. With runs flowing from across the batting line-up, their highest scorer so far has been Shreyas Iyer with 245 runs, a whole 142 runs and seven places behind runaway leader KL Rahul on the run-getters list for the season.
That said, their standout performer so far in IPL 2020 has been Kagiso Rabada. The South African pacer has picked up 17 wickets in his 7 games so far, and tops the charts comfortably. To put that into perspective, Jasprit Bumrah, who is the next highest wicket-taker, has 11 wickets to his name.
However, their bowling has not been a one-man show either. The likes of countryman Anrich Nortje, Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin have all ably supported Rabada. This Delhi side does seem to be quite different to the ones from the years gone by. They seem to have all the makings of a champion side, and are also being guided by one of the best in the business in Ricky Ponting.
RR, however, have flattered to deceive in the tournament. When IPL 2020 kicked off, it looked like wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson was finally going to make consistency a part of his arsenal with back-to-back fifties in the first couple of games.
While Samson is RR’s top-scorer in IPL 2020 with 202 runs, it is noteworthy that 159 of those runs came in the first two matches, with the next five games proving to be a bit of a dud.
Samson has not been the only player guilty of the crime, as skipper Steve Smith has also seen his form peter out after the first two matches. After scoring 119 runs in his first two games, Smith has only gotten to 162 after his seventh IPL 2020 match.
The Royals seemed to have run into a brick wall in terms of finding victories in the tournament. Until they faced Sunrisers Hyderabad, of course. An unbroken 85-run stand between find-of-the-season Rahul Tewatia (more on that later) and young Riyan Parag helped RR chase down 159 and bring the losing streak to an end once and for all.
With Rajasthan having one eye on a potential change in fortunes, this DC v RR IPL 2020 fixture could be as entertaining as they come, especially with DC certain to miss a player central to their fortunes in Rishabh Pant.
IPL 2020: DC v RR Match Prediction
Although Pant’s form has not been the best so far this season, the wicketkeeper-batsman has been a key part of their plans in recent campaigns. This is even more so this season, with him being among the senior players in what is a young squad.
A Grade 1 tear means that Pant will miss more than ‘just a couple of games’ this IPL 2020 season. And while the youngster will be a big miss to the Capitals, the Delhi franchise do have quality on the bench in the form of Ajinkya Rahane and Alex Carey who could provide ample cover for the southpaw.
For all that has been said about the Royals’ IPL 2020 season, they have had their share of positives too. The biggest of the lot has been the emergence of Rahul Tewatia as a genuine all-rounder. In addition to a couple of match-winning innings down the order for the Royals, Tewatia also has 5 valuable scalps to his name, and is RR’s second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament.
Add to that the mental boost that comes with the return of 2019 World Cup final Man of the Match Ben Stokes, and the Royals could well be on their road to redemption in a tournament where very little has gone their way until now. However, whether the 'Ben Stokes opening' experiment continues remains to be seen.
Going by recent history, the team winning the toss would have a sizable advantage - provided they opt to bat first, of course. Teams batting first have won 12 out of 14 fixtures at the venue in the IPL 2020, although two of them were victories that came in the Super Over.
Interestingly, the last team to win at Dubai in a run-chase were the Royals, when they beat SRH by 5 wickets in their last game. However, given the overall quality in the DC line-up, and the form that they have exhibited at IPL 2020, it is quite safe to say that the Capitals should take this match comfortably.
Prediction: DC to win today’s IPL 2020 match.Published 14 Oct 2020, 12:08 IST