Former Indian opener Sanjay Bangar has opined that the Delhi Capitals (DC) are the only team that can challenge the Mumbai Indians (MI) for the IPL 2020 title. He reasoned that the Shreyas Iyer-led side possess great balance.
Bangar made this observation while previewing tonight's Qualifier 1 clash between the two sides in the recent episode of the Star Sports show Game Plan.
On being asked if the Mumbai Indians will be able to extend their dominance over the Delhi Capitals from the league phase to Qualifier 1, Sanjay Bangar responded that the playoffs are a different ball game in which past results don't hold any significance.
"When it goes to playoffs, it doesn't really matter what has happened in the past. It is on the day which team plays better cricket."
The former Indian batting coach observed that the Delhi Capitals bouncing back after having a lean run in the second half of the tournament would stand the franchise in good stead.
"Delhi Capitals, I agree do not have the experience of playing a lot of playoff matches but what they have undergone this season is really critical, success early on, failures towards the later half of the tournament and then a very good match to qualify and claim that second spot."
He added that the Delhi Capitals have an ideal combination of youth and experience which makes them the only team that can challenge the Mumbai Indians.
"So I believe that the kind of combination they have, good young and experienced Indian batsmen, battery of overseas fast bowlers and Indian spinners, that is a good mix of experience, pace and youth, so if there is one team which can challenge the Mumbai Indians, it is the Delhi Capitals."
Bangar even cautioned the four-time IPL winners to be wary of the Delhi Capitals.
"So be aware Mumbai Indians, it is not going to be easy."
Sanjay Bangar on the battle between Jasprit Bumrah and Kagiso Rabada in the Delhi Capitals vs Mumbai Indians clash
Sanjay Bangar was also asked who would have the edge in the contest between Jasprit Bumrah and Kagiso Rabada during the Mumbai Indians' clash against the Delhi Capitals. He responded that he is very keen to watch some of the best fast bowlers of the modern game in action in tonight's encounter.
"Who has the edge, I do not know but it is going to be a cracker of an evening. How exciting it is to see five or six world-class bowlers playing in a single match and if you are a fan of fast bowling do not miss this game."
He chose Bumrah as having a slight edge over Rabada because of the aggressive manner in which he is used by the Mumbai Indians.
"As far as your question goes, I think it is going to be advantage Jasprit Bumrah because he has been used as a wicket-taker versus a Rabada who has been used as a death bowler. So, I feel Jasprit Bumrah might just edge out ahead of Kagiso Rabada."
Sanjay Bangar signed off by opining that the Delhi Capitals and the Mumbai Indians are likely to qualify for the IPL 2020 finals, and picked the former as the likely winners of tonight's encounter.
"This is going to be a dress-rehearsal for the finals on the 10th as well because I believe these teams will meet in the finals again but for this game I am sticking my neck out, I feel DC is slightly in front."
A win for the Delhi Capitals in today's clash will help them qualify for their maiden IPL final. A positive result for the Mumbai Indians, on the other hand, will take them to their sixth IPL final and put them on the right path towards a record-extending fifth title.