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Match Preview – Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Capitals, Indian Premier League 2020 2020, 27th Match

Big picture

This is the game everyone’s been waiting for. The two best teams in the tournament square off and there are match-winners right down the line-ups.

Come for Prithvi Shaw’s rasping back foot shots. Stay for Rohit Sharma’s languid sixes. Scream for Jasprit Bumrah’s searing yorkers. Gasp at Kagiso Rabada’s endless skill. Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Capitals. Two of the most talented and tactical teams take to the field in Abu Dhabi on Sunday night and it is going to be glorious.

Likely XIs

Mumbai Indians: 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 Rohit Sharma (capt), 3 Suryakumar Yadav, 4 Ishan Kishan, 5 Hardik Pandya, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Krunal Pandya, 8 James Pattinson, 9 Rahul Chahar, 10 Trent Boult, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

Delhi Capitals: 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Prithvi Shaw, 3 Shreyas Iyer (capt), 4 Rishabh Pant (wk), 5 Marcus Stoinis, 6 Shimron Hetmyer, 7 Axar Patel, 8 Harshal Patel, 9 R Ashwin, 10 Kagiso Rabada, 11 Anrich Nortje

Strategy punts

  • There is always a case for Kieron Pollard to be promoted up the Mumbai order and it is extra strong here. He has been obliterating spin this season; 10 of his 12 sixes and 90 of his 160 runs have come against them. Strike rate of 250. Capitals have been the strongest spin attack in IPL 2020 (13 wickets at an economy rate of 6) but even they are likely to have trouble. If things go bad, they will have to turn to Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje and that could mean their two express pacers have fewer overs to bowl at the death.

  • Rohit Sharma is having an excellent tournament. He’s already hit two fifties – which is all he managed over the entire course of each of the 2018 and 2019 IPLs – and he looks set for more, especially since he returns to a ground where he’s been 49 and striking at 150. But the Capitals have several favourable match-ups against the Mumbai captain. Rabada: 34 balls, 39 runs, one dismissal, Axar Patel: 28 balls, 21 runs, one dismissal and Harshal Patel: 19 balls, 24 runs, two dismissals.

Stats that matter

  • Mumbai have been the best hitters between overs 16 and 20 (strike rate 235).

  • And yet Capitals won’t be fazed because they have a set of bowlers who have completely taken control of the back end of every single game. (economy rate 9.5)

  • Rabada, for example, has taken more death-overs wickets (11) than the entire Rajasthan Royals team (8).

  • Capitals aren’t short of power either. They have Marcus Stoinis, who has a balls per boundary rate of 3.8 this season. Only Pollard has gone better.

  • Away from the spotlight, Rahul Chahar is rapidly becoming one of Mumbai’s most dependable performers. So good has he been that he needs only two wickets – currently on seven from six games – to go past Rashid Khan and become IPL 2020’s most successful spinner.

  • Axar Patel has an economy rate of 4.5 after five matches played. It is the best by anyone who has bowled a minimum of 12 deliveries in the tournament. He is yet to concede a six.

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