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Match Preview – Capitals vs RCB, Indian Premier League 2022, 27th Match

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As IPL 2022 moves closer to the halfway stage, the race to consolidate a top-four spot gets intense. On Saturday, Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore will be up against each other in a bid to pull away from the mid-table traffic.

For Capitals, Prithvi Shaw has been imposing at the top, and forms a threating opening pair with David Warner. In their previous game, the two gave Capitals a blazing start to set up the win against Kolkata Knight Riders.

In the bowling department, Mustafizur Rahman has been economical, while Khaleel Ahmed and Kuldeep Yadav have picked up big wickets. Their only concern has been the absence of a proven match-winner in the lower-middle order. If Mitchell Marsh is available for Saturday’s game, that will allow Rishabh Pant to bat at No. 5 and alleviate this problem.

Royal Challengers have bigger holes in their line-up, especially in the absence of Harshal Patel, their designated death bowler. Their other seamers – Mohammed Siraj and Akash Deep – haven’t fared well in that role. Siraj’s economy rate at the death this season has been 16.83 and that of Deep 20.11.

The closest like-for-like replacement Royal Challengers have for Harshal is Siddarth Kaul. Kaul had been a death bowler for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the past and can do the same job for his current team. Akash Deep will have to sit out in that case.

Another issue for them has been the slow starts from their openers. Anuj Rawat was the Player of the Match for his 47-ball 66 against Mumbai Indians but his powerplay strike rate has been only 97.33. Faf du Plessis’ is even worse: 82.81. Royal Challengers will expect batter from them in the upcoming matches.

In the news

Marsh has started batting in the nets, and Shane Watson told the Grade Cricketer on Friday that “it’s looking like he would be coming in for the next game”. If so, Rovman Powell will have to make way for him.

Likely XIs

Delhi Capitals 1 Prithvi Shaw, 2 David Warner, 3 Mitchell Marsh, 4 Rishabh Pant (capt, wk), 5 Lalit Yadav, 6 Sarfaraz Khan, 7 Axar Patel, 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Mustafizur Rahman, 11 Khaleel Ahmed

Royal Challengers Bangalore 1 Faf du Plessis (capt), 2 Anuj Rawat, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 Shahbaz Ahmed, 6 Suyash Prabhudessai, 7 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 8 Wanindu Hasaranga, 9 Siddarth Kaul, 10 Mohammed Siraj, 11 Josh Hazlewood

Strategy punt

  • Dinesh Karthik has looked unstoppable at the death this season but Capitals have two bowlers against whom he has struggled in T20s. Mustafizur has conceded only 16 runs off 15 balls to him and Shardul Thakur only 19 off 20. Both bowlers have got him out once each. And the good thing for Capitals is they don’t need to tweak their plans too much for this as Mustafizur and Thakur anyway bowl at the death. Thakur has got impressive numbers against Glenn Maxwell too: 24 runs off 22 balls with two dismissals.
  • Pant is the key for Capitals in the middle order. But Maxwell has dismissed him twice in three innings while giving away only 11 runs off 12 balls. Also, so far in this season, Pant has a strike rate of only 115.38 (45 runs off 39 balls) against spin. So don’t be surprised if Faf du Plessis throws the ball to Maxwell as soon as Pant comes out.
  • Stats that matter

  • Off Wanindu Hasaranga, Warner has scored 43 runs in 21 balls without a single dismissal.
  • Siraj has an economy rate of 10.75 so far in IPL 2022. The corresponding figure for Deep is 10.88.
  • Khaleel has picked up two or more wickets in all three games he has played so far. He is also yet to concede a six this season.
  • In four innings so far in IPL 2022, Powell has scored 31 runs at an average of 7.75 and a strike rate of 103.33.
  • Hemant Brar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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