The Delhi Capitals (DC) will lock horns with the Mumbai Indians (MI) in Match 13 of the IPL 2021 season at Chepauk in Chennai. MI have already played three games at this venue, but it will be DC's first game here this season.
Both teams won their last game in emphatic fashion and will be brimming with confidence coming into this encounter. DC made short work of a daunting target of 195 against the Punjab Kings (PBKS), thanks to a blistering 92 from Shikhar Dhawan.
It was a professional bowling performance once again from the formidable defending champions as they didn't let the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) chase down a supposedly below-par target of 151 in their last game.
One can say that MI certainly have a better idea of the conditions and the line and length to be bowled on such a two-paced track. While the approach of batsmen has been under the scanner in Chennai this season, it has been the bowlers who have made merry.
3 bowlers to watch out for from DC vs MI encounter
In all three games, MI looked down and out at one point. But it was their superb bowling attack that brought them back into the game every single time. Thus, it will be important for DC to ensure that their bowling attack fires all cylinders and restricts MI to as low a score as possible.
On that note, let's have a look at three bowlers who can end up with the most number of wickets in the DC vs MI encounter:
#3 Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin has had a brilliant past few months in red-ball cricket for India. He was so impressive that there was a debate about whether the 34-year-old should be recalled into India's white-ball plans.
However, the IPL 2021 season hasn't started well for the veteran off-spinner. He has given away 89 runs in three games so far and has just picked up a solitary wicket. Nevertheless, a change of scenery might certainly help Ashwin and playing at his home ground in Chennai could be the tonic that he requires.
Having made his name at the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Ashwin knows the pitch here really well and is certainly smart enough to quickly understand how he needs to bowl to be successful on this track.
The 34-year-old caused problems for the MI batsmen last season and that would certainly keep him in good stead. The local boy could bowl DC to victory if he finds his groove.
#2 Trent Boult
Trent Boult has a reputation for being one of the best exponents of swing bowling in the world. He was also the highest wicket-taker in the powerplay last IPL season with 20 wickets.
The Kiwi speedster wasn't quite as good at the death, as he has been carted around the ground by a number of batsmen in the past. But this year, the 31-year-old has managed to outshine one of the best death bowlers in the world in Jasprit Bumrah.
Boult is currently the second-highest wicket-taker for MI this season with 6 wickets and has been sensational towards the back-end of the innings. He has nailed his yorkers to perfection and has rattled the stumps on multiple occasions.
This has made the MI bowling attack even stronger as the New Zealand pacer proved he is not effective only when there is swing on offer. Having already played three games here, Boult will have a fair idea of how to bowl on such a track.
The 31-year-old was traded by DC after the 2019 season and he made them pay last year. If Boult finds his rhythm against his supposedly favorite opposition, he can run through the DC batting line-up.
#1 Rahul Chahar
There was no doubt about the fact that spin was going to play a major role on the Chennai pitches. However, MI appeared a bit light in that department as Krunal Pandya doesn't turn the ball as much.
Thus, it was very important how leg-spinner Rahul Chahar started off the IPL 2021 season for the defending champions. The 21-year-old had just played a couple of T20Is for India and knew that he had an outside chance of making it into the Men In Blue's T20 World Cup squad.
Chahar had an off-day in the opening game where he was expensive and also went wicketless. However, he turned the game on its head against KKR. The 21-year-old picked up four wickets and triggered a stunning KKR collapse.
The youngster backed it up with another brilliant outing against SRH, this time picking three wickets. He is the joint-highest wicket-taker in the IPL 2021 season alongside Harshal Patel.
MI skipper Rohit Sharma has turned to Chahar this season whenever he has needed a wicket and the leg-spinner has delivered more often than not. Thus, the 21-year-old can once again be the man that MI can bank on against DC.