Brar’s match-winning 3/19 was wonderfully complemented by Bishnoi’s 2/17 as their combined haul of 5/36 in eight overs decimated Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) here on Friday. Come Sunday, the duo will face a tougher task against Delhi, which has a slightly better record against spin attacks with openers Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw in imperious form.
Even Steve Smith and skipper Rishabh Pant are fantastic players when it comes to tackling the slow bowlers. The Narendra Modi Stadium track has shown that balls tend to grip and batting becomes difficult as the game progresses.
It won’t be therefore surprising if the in-form KL Rahul opts to bat first and replicate his smashing 57-ball 91 not out against RCB. For Capitals, there is a chance of leg-spinner Amit Mishra making a comeback into the playing eleven.
Axar Patel’s all-round presence gives DC the much-needed stability as he could prove to be a handful on slower tracks. It will be a battle of top-orders where Rahul’s finesse will be countered by Shaw’s exuberance while Chris Gayle will try to overpower Pant’s pyrotechnics.
However, one area where Delhi is slightly ahead is the pace bowling department, comprising the troika of Avesh Khan, Kagiso Rabada and Ishant Sharma. While Avesh has had a stand-out season so far with 13 scalps at an economy rate of less than 7.5, Rabada got some kind of rhythm in the past two games.
For Punjab, the problem has been consistency save skipper Rahul, who has scored 331 runs. In the bowling unit, pace spearhead Mohammed Shami has eight wickets from seven games while premium buys like Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith have not been at their best. Chris Jordan has been just about okay in a couple of games, which has made Rahul’s job of identifying the perfect pace combination difficult.