The doughty virus has squeezed through the bio bubble, a player has been hospitalised as a precaution, and the match has been relocated across the expressway from Pune to Mumbai, but the good news is that the match will still be happening. Fingers crossed, for who can forget 2021?
Both Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings have lost three and won two of their last five matches, and will want to weed out the inconsistency they’ve shown with the tournament nearing its halfway stage. Capitals are in further strife, and not just because their camp has been hit by Covid-19.
There are as many as 19 names above Prithvi Shaw, their highest run-getter of the tournament; Anrich Nortje, one of their retained picks, first sat out injured, then returned, and got taken off the attack for sending down a pair of high full-tosses. An early drop of Dinesh Karthik
by Rishabh Pant then went a long way in deciding Capitals’ fate against Royal Challengers Bangalore the last match.
If they can get their act together and manage two points against Kings, Capitals will climb two steps up to No. 6 on the points table
. If not, they can only hope it is not too late.
Meanwhile, Kings have alternated between Ws and Ls over their six matches so far. They have lost the toss and batted first in the last five of them, but, thanks to their mantra of all-out-attack, have still posted totals of 198, 189 and 180. This, after they had hunted down 206
to start the season.
So the batting’s okay. But the bowling, apart from Rahul Chahar and Kagiso Rabada, has lacked wicket-taking menace. Arshdeep Singh has been superb at keeping the runs down at the death, but he only has two wickets across phases from 21 overs in six matches. And Odean Smith, on top of not scoring enough runs, is leaking them at 11.86 an over.
Like Capitals, a win for Kings can help them up two places – and three if Royal Challengers lose big to Lucknow Super Giants – at just the right time.
With Mitchell Marsh
out of action for at least a week after testing Covid-positive
, he is certain to miss Capitals’ fixture against Kings and also against Rajasthan Royals two days later. Meanwhile, Kings’ regular captain Mayank Agarwal
missed their previous match against Sunrisers Hyderabad due to an injured toe. At the end of that game, Shikhar Dhawan said he was “much better now”, and hoped Agarwal would play “the next game”, although there has been no further updates.
Delhi Capitals: 1 Prithvi Shaw, 2 David Warner, 3 Sarfaraz Khan/Yash Dhull/Tim Seifert, 4 Rishabh Pant (capt & wk), 5 Lalit Yadav, 6 Rovman Powell, 7 Axar Patel, 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Mustafizur Rahman, 11 Khaleel Ahmed
Punjab Kings: 1 Prabhsimran Singh, 2 Shikhar Dhawan (capt), 3 Jonny Bairstow, 4 Liam Livingstone, 5 Jitesh Sharma (wk), 6 Shahrukh Khan, 7 Odean Smith/ Benny Howell/Rishi Dhawan/Raj Bawa, 8 Kagiso Rabada, 9 Rahul Chahar, 10 Vaibhav Arora, 11 Arshdeep Singh