Dubai: Mumbai Indians (MI) will lock horns with Delhi Capitals (DC) in the Dream11 Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 Qualifier 1 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium here on Thursday.
MI may have started their campaign with a loss against Chennai Super Kings (CSK). But the defending champions then had an incredible run which saw them win 9 matches out of 13 to occupy the top spot in the points table and with it, a place in the Qualifier 1.
While MI had to miss out on the services of Rohit Sharma in the second half of the season after the four-time IPL trophy-winning captain suffered an injury, Kieron Pollard did a remarkable job leading the side in Rohit's absence, helping MI become the first team to seal a place in the playoffs. While Rohit returned to lead the side in the final league stage game, MI lost the game by ten wickets against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
For DC, they had an up and down season. The Shreyas Iyer-led unit marched their way to 14 points, bagging 7 wins from their first 9 games. But then, had a tumble of sorts, losing 4 successive games. However, they returned to winning ways in their last league-stage game against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to finish second on the points table to set up a clash against MI in the Qualifier 1.
This is the third time when these two sides are facing each other in this tournament.In their first outing, MI defeated DC by five wickets on the back of Quinton de Kock and Suryakumar Yadav's fifties. The second meeting was more a one-sided affair as MI rode Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult's three-wicket hauls and Ishan Kishan's 72 not out-run blitz to seal a nine-wi
DC, who are coming into this game following a "confidence-boosting win" against RCB, though, will be out to make amends and deny MI a hat-trick of wins.As both the teams look to seal a place in the final, here are the players who could change the course of the Qualifier 1:
MI rested the pace-bowling duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult for their final league-stage game against SRH. But the two will be back in action for the clash against DC. While the two have scalped 43 wickets between this season, they were also at the centre of MI's win, picking three wickets each, when the team last faced DC. The pair will once again be pivotal to MI's fortunes as they look to reach the final.
If MI have Bumrah and Boult at their disposal, DC have Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje in their arsenal. The South African pacers have scalped 44 wickets from 14 matches.
While Rabada had gone wicketless as DC lost against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and MI, the right-arm pacer returned to his wicket-taking ways, scalping two wickets against RCB to regain the Purple Cap. Meanwhile, Nortje, who has 19 wickets to his name, picked three wickets in DC's last league-stage game.
The four pacers have done a remarkable job with the ball this season and their battle within a battle will make for a fascinating viewing.Rohit, with his skill and proven batting record, will always remain a threat for any opposition. But, MI also have the likes Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard in the ranks.
De Kock is currently MI's leading run-getter with 443 runs to his name while Kishan is close second with 428 runs to his account. In addition to them, MI have Suryakumar Yadav in the mix. The right-hander, who has a fine fusion of power game and classical strokeplay, has scored three half-centuries this season and has never really looked out of sorts against any opposition. In Pollard and Hardik, MI have two of the most highly-rated big-hitters. While Pollard has scored 259 runs in 10 innings with a strike rate of 193.28, Hardik has scored 241 runs from 11 innings with a strike rate of 174.63.
Coming to DC, Shikhar Dhawan, following a mini-dip in the form after registering four successive fifty-plus scores, including two hundreds, has returned to form, scoring a match-winning half-century against RCB. DC will also be pleased to see how Ajinikya Rahane performed against Virat Kohli and Co. While the two are expected to hold their position in the middle-order, DC will be hoping that their skipper Shreyas Iyer and wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant set the stage on fire in Qualifier 1. The two have not had too many big runs to their name this season and hence, will be itching to set the stage on fire as DC look to avenge their league-stage defeats against MI and with it, become the first team to seal a place in the final.
Suryakumar Yadav has played 99 IPL matches and if he plays the Qualifier 1, it will be his 100th IPL match. Rohit Sharma needs 8 runs to complete 4000 IPL runs for MI. Shreyas Iyer requires 79 runs to complete 500 runs in IPL 2020.Ajinkya Rahane needs 69 runs to complete 4000 IPL runs.(UNI)