The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Delhi Capitals (DC) will take on each other in game 19 of IPL 2020 at the Dubai International Stadium on Monday.
Both Bangalore and Delhi are in the top half of the points table with three victories from four matches. In their previous game, RCB handed a royal eight-wicket thrashing to Rajasthan Royals. Delhi, on the other hand, got the better of Kolkata by 18 runs, despite a late fightback from the latter.
The tussle for spots in the top four of the points table is heating up, with Mumbai having won three games, and KKR, CSK, RR and SRH all posting two wins each. As such, both RCB and Delhi will be keen to register another victory, which will take them to the top of the points table.
With RCB and DC getting into battle mode, we take a look at three big player battles in the offing.
#1. Devdutt Padikkal vs Kagiso Rabada
Even though this is his debut season, talented RCB opener Devdutt Padikkal has batted as if he is an IPL pro. Padikkal has not been troubled either by pace or spin, and has had ample time to play his strokes -- a sign of a gifted batsman. Padikkal’s ability to force the pace at the top of the innings has been particularly impressive. In four matches for RCB, he has eased his way to 174 runs at a strike rate of 134.88, crossing the half-century mark in three of the games.
Padikkal may have found the going easy so far. But, the challenge will be at a totally different level against Delhi’s strike bowler Kagiso Rabada. The South African paceman has been absolutely sensational with eight wickets in four matches at a strike rate of 12. His deadly yorkers have mostly been spot-on, and he has delivered wickets whenever the skipper has asked him to. It needed a special effort from the extraordinarily talented Eoin Morgan to make him look less menacing. Padikkal, though, would be aware that he will have his task cut out.
#2. Shreyas Iyer vs Yuzvendra Chahal
Delhi captain Shreyas Iyer played an absolutely blazing knock against KKR. Iyer took full advantage of the wonderful foundation laid by Prithvi Shaw’s half-century, and slammed an unbeaten 88 from only 38 balls. The most impressive aspect of his innings was the six sixes he smashed. While he looked equally at ease against both pace and spin, Iyer was particularly severe on Varun Chakravarthy, whom he slammed for three sixes and a few boundaries as well.
Against RCB, Iyer will be in for a greater spin challenge against experienced leggie Yuzvendra Chahal, who has been in top form this season so far. Chahal spun his web around Rajasthan’s batsmen in his last game for RCB, and came up with a man of the match-winning effort. Chahal’s 3 for 24 featured the massive wickets of Sanju Samson as well as Robin Uthappa and the well-set Mahipal Lomror. He completely put the brakes on RR’s innings. Iyer will be confident for sure, but this time it will be a battle of equals.
#3. AB de Villiers vs Anrich Nortje
This could be a rather interesting tussle. Batting in the middle-order, RCB's AB de Villiers is very likely to come up against his country-mate Anrich Nortje. In the game against KKR, the fast bowler produced highly commendable figures of 2 for 33. He bowled with pace again, but more significantly got his block hole deliveries spot-on. In a match where even the otherwise economical Rabada was taken for 51 in his four overs, Nortje stood tall and ensured Delhi held their ground in the midst of a brutal assault from Eoin Morgan and Rahul Tripathi.
Nortje though will be challenged by the exceptional brilliance of de Villiers, who has the ability to turn seemingly unplayable deliveries into boundary balls. De Villiers has played two blazing innings for RCB in IPL 2020 so far -- 51 from 30 against SRH, and an unbeaten 55 from 24 balls in the tied encounter against Mumbai Indians. Well into his international retirement, de Villiers is proving what an asset he can still be to South Africa if he decides to play again. For now, though, his focus would be on trying to unsettle the likes of Nortje.Published 05 Oct 2020, 14:52 IST