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IPL 2020, MI vs DC: 3 player battles to watch out for

Delhi Capitals vs Mumbai Indians. Pic: IPLT20.COM
Delhi Capitals vs Mumbai Indians. Pic: IPLT20.COM
ANALYST
Modified 11 Oct 2020, 19:09 IST
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Table-toppers Delhi Capitals and second-placed Mumbai Indians will face-off in Match 27 of IPL 2020 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Sunday

With five wins in six matches, Delhi are currently at first place with 10 points. Defending champions Mumbai Indians are placed just below them with eight points, having won four out of their six games.

In their previous game, Delhi got the better of the struggling Rajasthan Royals with a professional effort. Both their batting and bowling came together as they posted 184 and then kept RR down to 138.

On the other hand, Mumbai have also been extremely impressive. They too are coming off a victory over RR, having consigned them to a 57-run defeat in their last match.

With MI and DC all set to clash in what will be a battle of equals, we dig deep to find out three player battles that could make a significant difference in the match.

1. Rohit Sharma vs Kagiso Rabada

Rohit Sharma. Pic: IPLT20.COM
Rohit Sharma. Pic: IPLT20.COM

Mumbai's best batsman versus Delhi’s best bowler, it really doesn’t get bigger than this. Rohit Sharma has been in fine form for Mumbai Indians with 211 runs from six matches at a strike rate of 145.51. He punished a strong KKR attack en route to his 80 from 54 balls.

A couple of games later, he hit 70 from 45 balls versus Kings XI Punjab. Both knocks came in winning causes, and Rohit has looked in good touch more often than not. The challenge for Mumbai will be even greater as they take on a strong Delhi outfit on Sunday. As always, Rohit would be ready for a fight.

Kagiso Rabada. Pic: IPLT20.COM
Kagiso Rabada. Pic: IPLT20.COM
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The MI skipper will be up against DC lead pacer Kagiso Rabada at the start of the innings. Rabada has been absolutely sensational for DC this year as well, carrying on from where he left off in the previous season.

With a rich haul of 15 scalps from six matches, Rabada has been among the wickets in every game. Most batsmen, barring Eoin Morgan of KKR, have failed to get a measure of Rabada. However, if there is one batsman in Mumbai who can break the Rabada code, it is Rohit, a great player of fast bowling. In fact, the MI skipper enjoys the extra pace coming onto the bat.

2. Prithvi Shaw vs Jasprit Bumrah

Prithvi Shaw. Pic: IPLT20.COM
Prithvi Shaw. Pic: IPLT20.COM
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Delhi opener Prithvi Shaw has been in fine form for his franchise this season. Shaw is one of the key factors behind Delhi’s consistency this season. In six matches so far, he has 198 runs to his name at a fantastic strike rate of 151.14.

The numbers prove that Shaw is not taking any time in getting off the blocks, allowing Shikhar Dhawan to try set himself up instead. Even when he is not getting the big scores, Shaw has ensured that Delhi are scoring at a swift pace.

Jasprit Bumrah. Pic: IPLT20.COM
Jasprit Bumrah. Pic: IPLT20.COM

The young Delhi batsman would be challenged by Jasprit Bumrah for sure. After looking off-colour for the initial few games, Bumrah has rediscovered his touch. He now has 11 wickets to his name at a strike rate of 13.09. In the last three matches, he has produced figures of 2/18, 2/41 and 4/20.

Bumrah’s yorkers and slower deliveries are working again. With his confidence at a high, he will look to attack Shaw at the start of the innings. With Dhawan out of form, Shaw’s scalp will be a massive one.

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3. Ravichandran Ashwin vs Kieron Pollard

Ravichandran Ashwin. Pic: IPLT20.COM
Ravichandran Ashwin. Pic: IPLT20.COM

The exit of Amit Mishra from IPL 2020 owing to an injury has cleared the path for Ravichandran Ashwin’s comeback, after he got injured himself early in the tournament. And the experienced offie has made an impact right away.

He was the Man of the Match as Delhi got the better of RR in their previous game. Ashwin bamboozled the Rajasthan batsmen with his variations, picking up two key wickets, including that of Jos Buttler, and giving away only 22 runs. His confidence will be on a high following the performance.

Kieron Pollard. Pic: IPLT20.COM
Kieron Pollard. Pic: IPLT20.COM

Kieron Pollard has been on a roll for Mumbai in the death overs. In six matches, he has blazed his way to 163 runs in his typically brutal style, maintaining a strike rate of 208.97. Pollard blasted 60 not out against 24 balls against RCB, 47 not out from 20 balls against KXIP and an unbeaten 25 from 13 balls versus Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The West Indian has been severe on spinners, taking on Krishnappa Gowtham, Yuzvendra Chahal and Adam Zampa. Ashwin will provide Pollard with a different kind of challenge. He will take on the Indian offie for sure, but who wins the contest remains to be seen.

Published 11 Oct 2020, 19:09 IST
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