IPL 2021: 3 areas of concern for DC ahead of PBKS clash

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan
Sai Krishna
Modified 02 May 2021

The Delhi Capitals (DC) will look to keep their stellar 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) run going when they take on the Punjab Kings (PBKS) at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

With five wins in seven games, DC are placed a comfortable second on the points table and will go top - at least temporarily - with a win. Rishabh Pant's side have exceeded all expectations in IPL 2021 in the absence of regular captain Shreyas Iyer, and aren't far away from securing their berth in the playoffs.

However, DC haven't been perfect by any means. Here are 3 areas of concern they need to address ahead of their May 2 clash against PBKS.

#3 DC haven't successfully defended a total yet

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant

Of the seven IPL 2021 games so far, DC have batted first only two times. And while they edged past the Sunrisers Hyderabad in a Super Over, they haven't successfully defended a total yet. The Rajasthan Royals won by 3 wickets in the only other game in which DC were put into bat.

Midway through the league stage, DC would've ideally liked to have had experience with all match scenarios. But they've been more than happy to let their bowling attack take to the field without much pressure, and then rely on their red-hot openers and captain Pant to take them home in run-chases.

DC might want to get the experience of defending a total at the earliest, and ascertain whether their bowling unit is up to the task.

#2 DC's middle order hasn't gone through a stern test

Marcus Stoinis and Shimron Hetmyer
Marcus Stoinis and Shimron Hetmyer

The form of Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan has meant that the DC middle order hasn't got as much time in the middle as they'd have liked.

Steve Smith has been a touch rusty at No. 3, while Pant has come in at the fall of the second wicket at the latest. But outside those four batsmen, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel and Lalit Yadav haven't frequented the crease.

Stoinis has faced 49 balls this season, while Hetmyer has faced 37. Lalit has fared better, but only slightly, at 55. Axar's only appearance at the crease this season saw him be a mere spectator at the non-striker's end.

The DC middle order hasn't been tested in a scenario where Dhawan, Shaw and Pant fall without too many runs on the board. While this is one situation they might not want to face soon, the middle order needs to spend some valuable time in the middle.

#1 DC aren't getting the most out of Kagiso Rabada

Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada

Since coming into the side for the second game of IPL 2021 against the Rajasthan Royals, Kagiso Rabada has been a shadow of the bowler who raced away to the Purple Cap last year. With only 5 wickets in 6 games at an economy rate of 8.72, the speedster has been overshadowed by the exploits of Avesh Khan.

DC need to find a way to get the most out of Rabada, who hasn't been used ideally this season. He's been expensive when used in the powerplay and has never looked like taking wickets regularly at the death.

DC will take heart from the fact that they're winning games even though Rabada isn't at his best, but they will welcome a return to form for their premier quick.

Published 02 May 2021
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