Anrich Nortje sending David Warner back to the pavilion with a snorter was a crucial moment in the overall narrative of Delhi Capitals’ crushing win against Sunrisers Hyderabad. It just restated the point that with Nortje and Kagiso Rabada in their bowling lineup, DC have the required arsenal to run through sides, especially considering the prevailing conditions in Dubai.
The pacemen employed the cross-seam delivery and hit more of the 8 metre short of a good length to share five wickets.Nortje has been an absolute beast with his bowling in terms of sheer pace.He is consistently hitting beyond the 145 mark which intimidates the batters.
However, in the IPL, matches come thick and fast as DC’s focus shifts to the other side of the Sheikh Zayed Road when they take on Rajasthan Royals in Abu Dhabi. Incidentally, in the IPL 2020, DC lost three of their five games in Abu Dhabi. The wicket in Abu Dhabi is relatively slower and DC’s spearheads – Rabada and Nortje – perhaps have to vary their pace a little more. In such conditions, Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin could come in handy. Axar has good control and also surprises the batter with his scrambled seam variety.
With the batting unit also firing collectively, there aren’t many concerns for the DC camp. Shikhar Dhawan has blended superbly with Prithvi Shaw at the top of the order. The likes of Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Shimron Hetmyer and co. add more depth to the line-up.With the form they are in,DC are the favorites for this match.
Injuries: Stoinis pulled up a hamstring while bowling his second over against PBKS and is a doubt for the game versus RR.
Tactics/Match-ups: One of the interesting match-ups is Sanju Samson against Axar Patel. Samson has scored only 51 runs off 48 and has been dismissed twice by the left-arm spinner. Axar’s twin weapons – scrambled seam and the one that goes on with the arm – could come in handy against a free-flowing batsman like Samson. The point can be further emphasized by how Samson attempted a cut stroke and fell to Axar’s arm-ball in the IPL 2020.
Probable XI: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (c & wk), Marcus Stoinis/Steve Smith, Shimron Hetmyer, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, and Avesh Khan