Viewing their previous game’s loss as a failure, the Royal Challengers Bangalore led by Virat Kohli will need to be at their best to beat a formidable Delhi Capitals unit in the IPL here on Tuesday.
As RCB will have to ignore his 69 points against the Chennai Super Kings in their last game and start over, Delhi’s confidence would be bolstered by their thrilling “Super Over” victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday night.
Facing the Delhi Capitals, RCB will have to resolve its intermediate issues, to return to victory, in what could be presented as a battle of equals.
For RCB, it will be important that the forerunners – fit Devdutt Padikkal (171 points) and Kohli (151 points) – continue to provide a solid start at Narendra Modi Stadium.
But the opening duo would need the much needed support from the Intermediate Order, which collapsed against the CSK.
The likes of Glenn Maxwell (198 points), Ab de Villiers (129 points) and the failed all-rounder Washington Sundar (25 points), will have to play in unison against a strong attack from Delhi.
Australian Maxwell justified his hefty price tag in early matches and would be eager to do it again.
RCB bowlers will have to forget about the hammer blows from the hands of CSK batters, especially the league’s top wicket-taker, Harshal Patel, who was knocked out by Ravindra Jadeja as he conceded 37 points in his final.
Pacers Mohammed Siraj and Kyle Jamieson will need to step up and deliver while spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar will also need to play tight to contain a strong DC batting line, full of tough hitters.
RCB could also be tempted to play left arm tweaker Shahbaz Ahmed in place of Navdeep Saini or Dan Christian, as the track could be ripe for spinners.
For Delhi, their first goalscorer and tournament leading scorer, Shikhar Dhawan (259 points), would be eager to continue his fine form, while his opening partner, Prithvi Shaw (166 points), would look to get more points in his active.
DC boasts of a strong middle order including skipper Rishabh Pant (125 races), Australians Steve Smith and Marcus Stoinis and Shimron Hetmyer who can be very destructive in their day.
If the openers fail, it will be up to Pant and Smith to lead the innings.
Delhi will miss the services of ace off-spinner Ravichandra Ashwin, who left the team to support her family in the fight against COVID-19.
In his absence, left arm spinner Axar Patel and experienced leg spinner Amit Mishra, who had wreaked havoc against the Mumbai Indians, will have to shoulder greater responsibility.
Delhi is unlikely to change its attacking pace, as Avesh Khan, with 11 wickets in five games, has been impressive and South African Kagiso Rabada can do the damage early on.
The management of the team can play Lalit Yadav, who plays off-spin and can also strike, in place of Ashwin, instead of going for a point guard.
Delhi Capitals Team: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (c / w), Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Chris Woakes, Shams Mulani, Amit Mishra, Lalit Yadav, Pravin Dubey, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Ishant Sharma, Avesh Khan, Steve Smith, Umesh Yadav, Ripal Patel, Vishnu Vinod, Lukman Meriwala, M Siddarth, Tom Curran, Sam Billings, Aniruddha Joshi.
Royal Challengers Bangalore Team: Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers (w), Devdutt Padikkal, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Pavan Deshpande, Shahbaz Ahmed, MS Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Daniel Sams, Harshal Patel, Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Kyle Jamieson, Dan Christian, Suyash Prabhudessai, KS Bharat, Finn Allen.