A rematch of the IPL 2020 final will see the Delhi Capitals (DC) take on the Mumbai Indians (MI) in Chennai on Tuesday. While it would be DC’s first IPL 2021 game at Chepauk, MI have already played three times at the venue this season.
DC will head into the game on the back of a comprehensive win over the Punjab Kings. Delhi chased down 196 with minimum fuss, with Shikhar Dhawan’s belligerent knock of 92 runs helping DC to their second win in three games.
The win catapulted DC to third place in the IPL 2021 standings and a victory over Mumbai could take them to the top of the table on Tuesday.
MI look at home in Chennai after starting their campaign with a loss against Royal Challengers Bangalore. They have since won two in two, beating Sunrisers Hyderabad in their last game.
Kieron Pollard’s late assault meant MI posted 150/5 in their 20 overs, but it was once again the bowlers who carried them to victory. A fortuitous hit-wicket dismissal of Jonny Bairstow triggered another SRH batting collapse, with Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, and Jasprit Bumrah applying the choke to help MI win the contest by 13 runs. A win by a big margin on Tuesday could see MI leapfrog the RCB to the top of the table.
The head-to-head record is heavily tilted in favor of MI, who have won 16 games, while DC have emerged victorious 12 times. Mumbai have also won five out of their last six IPL clashes against the Sunrisers.
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IPL 2021: DC vs MI Match Prediction
DC will have to adjust quickly to the low-scoring Chepauk, and we may see a new-look side against MI. Moving from pace-friendly Wankhede to spin-haeven Chepauk may prompt DC to bring in Amit Mishra.
The leg-spinner has a superb record against Rohit Sharma (six dismissals), with only Sunil Narine dismissing the MI skipper more times in T20 cricket. Amit Mishra could replace Lukman Meriwala in DC's starting line-up.
It remains to be seen whether Anrich Nortje will make a return to the side. Although DC decided against playing him in their last game, the South African speedster may feature against MI. Kagiso Rabada's form will be a concern for Delhi as the 25-year-old has been expensive at the death.
Steve Smith is likely to get an extended run in the side after making his IPL 2021 debut in the last game. His importance grows exponentially on low-scoring tracks, and the Australian may play a crucial role against MI.
Although Mumbai are unlikely to tinker with their playing XI, they may decide to give Jayant Yadav a chance. The off-spinner dismissed Shikhar Dhawan last year and could fare well against Rishabh Pant as well.
It would also be interesting to see how DC, and particularly Prithvi Shaw, negotiate the early threat of Trent Boult. The MI pacer dismissed Shaw thrice in 2020.
One aspect MI would look to improve on is their batting. Only Suryakumar Yadav (56 against KKR) has gone past the 50-run mark for the five-time IPL champions this season. They will hope the likes of Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan come to the party against DC.
DC haven’t won at Chepauk since 2010 and they may take some time to get used to the slow nature of the surface. Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant will be crucial to their chances of beating Mumbai
But MI will start the game as favorites, considering they have acclimatized to the alien conditions superbly. Rohit Sharma and co. have successfully defended low totals this year and could once again do the same if they win the toss and bat first on a sticky Chepauk wicket.
Prediction: MI to win