Mum­bai looks to un­seat Cap­i­tals from top

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ABU DHABI: Many small bat­tles are ex­pected to un­fold when the sea­son’s two most con­sis­tent teams – Mum­bai In­di­ans (MI) and Delhi Cap­i­tals (DC) – cross swords in the In­dian Premier League (IPL) 2020 here on Sun­day.

Be it a po­tent top-or­der, a strong mid­dle-or­der or a lethal bowl­ing at­tack, there is hardly any­thing that sep­a­rates the two sides. If at all one team has a slight up­per hand in any de­part­ment, it is the ex­pe­ri­ence in Mum­bai’s pace bowl­ing arse­nal.

Both Jasprit Bum­rah and Trent Boult, with years of ex­pe­ri­ence be­hind them, could be the dif­fer­ence in the most sought-after con­test of this edi­tion. It means that Shikhar Dhawan will have to strive harder to give Delhi the edge in the pow­er­play overs. The left-handed bats­man has got starts in the last few games, but needs a big­ger in­nings un­der his belt. In a way, Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant will face their first stiff test when they face Bum­rah and Boult, who can trou­ble bats­men with their pace and ac­cu­racy. Shim­ron Het­myer got back among the runs against Ra­jasthan Roy­als (RR) and that is good news for DC.

He seemed to be the only weak link in Delhi’s ranks, but his six-laden knock against Roy­als has re­moved that worry. Shreyas Iyer has been very im­pres­sive so far as a bats­man and leader of the pack. It will be in­ter­est­ing to see how he uses his re­sources against his coun­ter­part Ro­hit Sharma and the MI duo of Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pol­lard.

The trio can change the com­plex­ion of the game within min­utes and han­dling it will be the key. Krunal Pandya, too, is ca­pa­ble of con­jur­ing up cameos that can turn things around for Mum­bai. Iyer has the ex­cit­ing South African pace duo of Kag­iso Rabada and An­rich Nortze to do the job. The guile of Ravichan­dran Ash­win fur­ther adds sting to the Cap­i­tals at­tack.

Axar Pa­tel has nicely set­tled into the side after he re­placed the in­jured Amit Mishra. His all-round abil­ity is an­other plus for Delhi. At the big Abu Dhabi ground, a score in the vicin­ity of 170 is nor­mally par for any other side in IPL 2020, but for Mum­bai and Delhi, even 200 may not ap­pear safe.

Delhi Cap­i­tals has been the team to beat, hav­ing won five of its six games so far

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