Delhi Capitals (DC) will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Tuesday in Match 22 of the IPL 2021 season. Both DC and RCB have enjoyed a strong start to their season and are determined to end their IPL trophy drought.
Although they have lost just one game each, the two teams are coming off contrasting performances in their previous outings. DC overcame a valiant Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) outfit in a thrilling Super Over, while RCB crashed to their first defeat of the season to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) through a Ravindra Jadeja masterclass.
DC vs RCB: 3 bowlers to watch out for
The stadium here in Ahmedabad is one of the biggest in the world and has huge boundaries. Thus, it gives the bowlers a bit of luxury to use their variations as clearing the ropes is not as easy as at some of the smaller grounds. Bowlers will play a huge role in this encounter as wickets always tend to stem the run-scoring.
On that note, let's have a look at three bowlers who could have a great outing in the DC vs RCB encounter.
#3 Axar Patel
Axar Patel has had quite a roller-coaster ride in the past few months. He was excellent for DC in the IPL 2020 season, where he picked up 9 wickets at an economy-rate of just 6.41.
Coming in as a replacement for Ravindra Jadeja in the Test series at home against England, Axar picked up an unbelievable 27 wickets in 3 games and was unplayable at times. However, he later tested positive for COVID-19 and had to miss a few games at the beginning of the IPL 2021 season.
Nevertheless, Axar recovered and in his very first IPL 2021 game against SRH, made an important contribution. He picked up two wickets at crucial times and also bowled well in the Super Over, conceding just 7 runs.
Playing at his home ground in Ahmedabad, the left-arm spinner will be a threat to a number of RCB batsmen like AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell, especially after seeing them struggle against Jadeja in their previous game.
#2 Avesh Khan
The rise of Avesh Khan has been quite the story this IPL 2021 season. Having represented the Indian team in the 2016 U19 World Cup, Avesh didn't quite get the recognition as his then teammates Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar went on to break into the Team India set-up.
However, DC have shown faith in the talent of the Madhya Pradesh pacer and backed him ahead of experienced Indian options like Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav. Avesh has repaid the faith in style by being the highest wicket-taker for DC so far this season with 11 scalps to his name.
Be it upfront, during middle-overs or at the death, the youngster has been skipper Rishabh Pant's go-to bowler in tough situations. Avesh's skiddy nature and raw pace could certainly test the RCB batsmen later tonight.
#1 Harshal Patel
Arguably one of the best trades in the IPL, Harshal Patel has been a revelation for RCB at the death. Virat Kohli's men were known for leaking runs in the last five overs and had lost many games from winning positions in the past.
However, the acquisition of Harshal Patel from DC via the trade window has certainly strengthened RCB's bowling department. The 30-year-old currently holds the Purple Cap with an incredible 15 wickets from just five games so far.
Harshal had a mixed outing in his last game against CSK. While he gave away just 14 runs in his first three overs and picked up three wickets, it all went downhill for the pacer as Jadeja plundered 37 runs off his final over.
However, Kohli would still back Patel to be back to his best as his variations have been difficult for the batsmen to pick. Having played for Gujarat, Harshal knows this ground well and the large boundaries would give him some luxury to unleash different variations from his repertoire.
If Harshal Patel finds his rhythm, he could certainly be too hot to handle for DC. Having been with the Delhi-based franchise last season, the 30-year-old will want to prove a point against his former employers and show them exactly what they have missed out on by letting him go to RCB.