At the halfway stage of IPL 2020, the Delhi Capitals (DC) looked almost unstoppable with five wins from seven matches and were primed to finish within the top two positions on the IPL 2020 points table.
However, losses from all of their last three encounters have derailed their campaign and they're left with the tough task of finding some inspiration to overcome any stumbles in their last two league stage matches.
The first of their last two games pits them against defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) today, a team which has hardly put a foot wrong over the course of the tournament.
With eight wins from 12 matches, the consistency exhibited by MI has accorded them the luxury of 'resting players' citing workload management. And with a spot in the IPL 2020 playoffs guaranteed, MI will be eyeing a top-two finish, and a win today against DC will book them a berth in the first Qualifier.
If the last week is anything to go by, the top three teams have struggled to pick up wins, but with a lot at stake in this Mumbai v Delhi clash, one can expect a humdinger of a contest.
IPL 2020: MI v DC Match Prediction
Despite three losses on the trot, the DC faithful might not want to drop their shoulders yet, for the Capitals are still in with a chance of making the top-two. However, the Shreyas Iyer-led side will know they've got a huge hill to climb, and against an in-form MI unit, they will need to bring out their A-game.
DC certainly have a whole lot of issues to address, beginning with their opening partnership and culminating with the below par show from the experienced bowling unit led by Kagiso Rabada.
While Rabada had an off-day against SRH and leaked 54 runs off his four overs, in the process going wicketless for the first time in 25 IPL matches, Ravichandran Ashwin's figures of 3-0-45-0 and 3-0-35-1 are certainly ominous signs for Delhi.
Additionally, what started as a promising IPL journey for Tushar Deshpande is now proving to be an expensive investment for DC, and they might consider bringing back either of Harshal Patel/Mohit Sharma in his place.
On the batting front, DC's move to bring in experience over youth hasn't worked well, with Ajinkya Rahane having scored just 34 runs from the last three matches. Further, with Shikhar Dhawan registering scores of 0 and 6 from his last two games, the Capitals might want to try and deposit faith in Shaw once again for some inspiration at the top of the order.
As for MI, they've hardly felt the absence of Rohit Sharma, for Ishan Kishan and most recently, Suryakumar Yadav have stepped up and put up a magnificent display with the bat.
Two-thirds of MI's pace attack in Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult find themselves among the top 10 wicket-takers list for IPL 2020, and with Rahul Chahar the latest entrant in the list with 14 wickets from 12 matches, the defending champions will be in a happy place.
Although James Pattinson's form is a minor worry, the Aussie pacer has looked solid and will look to bounce back to form against a struggling DC unit. In terms of an overall picture, the Capitals face the arduous task of overcoming a strong MI unit to pick up two important points with a win today.
However, with three losses in a row, that will be a lot more easier said than done.
Prediction: MI to win today.Published 31 Oct 2020, 11:04 IST