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IPL 2020, MI vs DC: Pacers hold key as Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals battle for spot in the final | Cricket News – Times of India


The spotlight will once again firmly be on Rohit Sharma as four-time champions and title favourites Mumbai Indians take on Delhi Capitals in the first qualifier of IPL 2020 in Dubai on Thursday.
The MI skipper created a flutter when he walked out for toss, after missing four games due to a hamstring injury, against Sunrisers Hyderabad in his team’s last league game on Tuesday night, despite being ruled out of India’s tour of Australia this winter by the national selectors.

Rohit’s fitness status has been subject of much debate ever since MI tweeted a video of India’s limited overs vice-captain practicing in the nets a few hours after he was omitted from the tour Down Under due to injury. On his part, the 33-year-old, who was out for just four in the last game, would be keen to churn out a knock that gives even more evidence of him being ‘fit and fine’ as he claimed at the toss on Tuesday.
After suffering a rare 10-wicket drubbing at the hands of the Sunrisers, the defending champions too would be hoping for a ‘Rohit Special’ that helps them bounce back and book their spot in the final. Having been rested from that game, their ace pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult would be raring to fire again. With 23 wickets in 13 games@15.73 at an economy rate of 6.96, Bumrah has been unplayable this IPL. With 20 wickets in 13 games @20.90, and an ER of 8.14, Boult hasn’t been too far behind.
In Kagiso Rabada – with 25 scalps in 14 games@17.80 the highest wicket-taker in this IPL so far – and Anrich Nortje (19 wickets in 13 games@21.10), the Capitals too have a new-ball pair to die for.

Man to man, MI, despite being routed in the last game by the Sunrisers, look more powerful, simply because they have a batting line-up which is in far better touch collectively than the Capitals’. In Quinton de Kock (443 runs), Rohit, Suryakumar Yadav (410), Ishan Kishan (428), Kieron Pollard (259 runs) and the Pandya brothers Hardik and Krunal, Mumbai have an array of batsmen who can tear any attack to shreds.
Though they are the underdogs going into this blockbuster game, having lost convincingly both the times to MI in the league stage, the Capitals, gunning for their maiden IPL title, would take heart from the fact that they finally broke their four-match losing streak before entering the playoffs, when they beat RCB by six wickets in their last league match.
Second half slip
DC’s journey in the tournament kicked off on a high note when they won their first game in the Super Over, and followed it up with a seven-match winning streak. However, they slipped in the second half of the tournament, largely due to their batting failing repeatedly.
DC’s biggest hope in this big game has to be centred around Shikhar Dhawan, who’s been in blazing form in this IPL, having cracked two hundreds and three fifties. Though he got out for two ducks, The India opener bounced back with a half-century against RCB in the last game.
The biggest Achilles heel for DC has been the poor form of opener Prithvi Shaw, who has out together just 228 runs in 12 games@19.00, skipper Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant. Iyer has managed to score just two fifties in 14 games, while Pant has hit none. Iyer’s scores in the last three matches are 7, 25 and 7 respectively.
What would give the Capitals’ heart is that the experienced Ajinkya Rahane, who slammed 60 off just 46 balls in the last game, looks settled at No 3, after failing as an opener.

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