Both the teams have run similar campaigns in a rather short journey of the season so far. A loss and a win from two games.
The battle of two sides whose search for an elusive maiden title has been on for nearly a decade and a half. Both have placed beliefs in numerology, changed names, changed captains, and strategies aplenty, but the change of fortunes seems at a distance.
For the Delhi Capitals, the previous two years have been duly rewarding. The change in the top brass of the franchise, which includes the entry of Ricky Ponting as a tutor, has seen them gain in heaps, and their top-three finish in 2019, followed by a runners-up end in 2020 attests to that. That these two seasons followed when DC could not have diminished further – they finished at the bottom of the table in 2018 – multiplies the enormity of their achievement.
On the other hand, the story of the Punjab Kings has been more of misses than hits. They were Delhi’s close ally in 2018, finishing second-last to their last. If they want to look at it as an improvement, Punjab finished at 6th in 2019. Stories of 2020 are recent, fresh, and green. As would be Punjab’s wounds from their heart-wrenching exit from the UAE edition.
A victory by a thin margin was a good way to balm those, but they have new lesions to treat after a freefall against the Chennai Super Kings. That is what the Punjab Kings are capable of: 221 one day, not even half of it the other. Although, as the Super Kings’ coach Stephen Fleming opined, the track was not a “221 track”, whether it was a 106/8 was for KL Rahul to answer. And he did: “Just the way we started [losing wickets early], the pitch was still okay, it wasn’t a 100-110 wicket, [it was] maybe 150-160 sort of a wicket.”
But PBKS is not alone in it as similar fate befell upon their rivals in their last outing. DC has previously been guilty of losing too many wickets in the powerplay. No team lost more than their 29 powerplay wickets in the 2020 edition. And at least on Thursday (15th April 2021), those concerns came back to haunt them, when they were teetering at 37/4 against the Rajasthan Royals. Much like Shahrukh Khan, who battled alone amid a collapse, it was Rishabh Pant, who took his team to a score of respectability on that night.
Both the teams have run similar campaigns in a rather short journey of the season so far. A loss and a win from two games. And neither has winning momentum on their side. Close alley… they do seem like.
Pitch and conditions
Demonized! The batting beauty has turned into an ugly monster. Or if you are a bowler, call it bowling beauty, simply. Things have gone awry at the Wankhede all of a sudden after two high-scoring encounters.
The powerplay exploits have diminished drastically too. The Capitals lost three wickets in accumulating 36 runs and reduced Rajasthan to a worse 26/3, a day before Chennai’s meet with Punjab, where the latter were 26/4 after 6 overs.
There was a tinge of green that Deepak Chahar made complete use of with the new ball in the previous game. Should the teams get a similar tacky, greenish track, we might just be in for another low-scoring affair.
Playing combinations for DC vs PBKS
The Capitals started things on a winning note despite the absence of their deadly pace duo of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje. While Rabada was in action in the previous game, Nortje had to miss out owing to a COVID hiccup. With that gone, he will walk in straight inside at the expense of Tom Curran, whose figures from the two games combined read 7.4-0-75-1.
Predicted XI: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (C & WK), Marcus Stoinis, Lalit Yadav, Chris Woakes, R Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan
Neither Jhye Richardson nor Riley Meredith could get success against the Super Kings. In Punjab’s tournament opener against Rajasthan too, they could not keep a lid on the runs even as they got a wicket each. This might tempt Punjab to give a look-in to Chris Jordan. Difficult to change otherwise.
Predicted XI: Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (C & WK), Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Jhye Richardson, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Chris Jordan/Riley Meredith, Arshdeep Singh
DC vs PBKS Head to Head
Played – 26 | DC – 11 | PBKS – 15
DC vs PBKS Broadcast Details
Match Timings – 7:30 PM IST
TV – Star Sports Network
Live Streaming – Disney+Hotstar