Marlon Samuels takes retirement from professional cricket
4 Nov 2020
Right, the moment for the final race to the iconic Indian Premier League title is set to begin after a two-month-long extravaganza that saw a series of heartbreaks, close wins, super overs, fifers and centuries. Not to miss outrageously good fielding efforts that filled in the gaps when batting and bowling failed to capture fans’ emotions completed the list of brilliance that the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League was witness to.
Arguably, the league phase of this IPL proved to be the most competitive of all in the competition's history as we had to wait till the last game to know which all teams will advance to the knockout stage. The last match of the round-robin stage was not immaterial. It was a game where fates of two teams hinged on the outcome - one playing and another non-playing. While Sunrisers had to win the match to power themselves from fifth to third in the points table, KKR had to wait nervously at four hoping for a slip-up from the Hyderabadi counterpart. Take that for competition in a tournament.
With all of the hard work done and having passed the test of being consistent enough over a long period of time (14 matches) teams would do well to know that all of their success in the previous games will matter a little and influence the outcome only for the momentum, they carry with themselves. The teams will be aware of the fact that there is no prize for topping the points table or winning all the league games, other than to get a chance to play two bad games before their place in the final is decided, if they can’t get it right in the playoffs and go on to lift the trophy on November 10.
The Mumbai Indians and the Delhi Capitals will start off the knockout phase of the tournament, although the first game of the phase is not an eliminator and the loser will get another shot to secure a chance in the final and that is the only advantage teams get by performing better in the league phase.
The sides are coming to this first qualifier with a different outlook of teams and performances in the last few matches. The Delhi Capitals were clinical in their last game while a self-depleted Mumbai Indians were no match to David Warner’s Sunrisers Hyderabad. Shreyas Iyer and Ricky Ponting would do a great disservice to the team if they overread what happened to the Mumbai Indians in their last game.
The Mumbai Indians are the most successful team in the league having four IPL titles in their grasp and undoubtedly, they have a daunting record in IPL playoffs for any team to leave them nervous. On the other hand, the Delhi Capitals have a horror record in IPL playoffs that date back to the time when the franchise was known by the name ‘Delhi Daredevils.’
The team has played only five playoff games in the history of the season and even in the 2009 edition when the side was full of world-beaters, they were knocked off by a belligerent Deccan Chargers. They broke the playoffs hoodoo last year by winning the Eliminator against the Sunrisers but proved to be an abject failure against a mighty Chennai Super Kings.
The Delhi Capitals side is filled with youngsters full of confidence and flamboyance while the Mumbai Indians possess a series of world beaters who have been absolute champions in the history of the league and they will have a definite mental advantage of having been there and owned the scene for their sides.
Looking the depth of the side and the possible fragility of a young team, Shreyas Iyer would love to see his team at his best to try and secure an IPL final berth in the first attempt only because the deeper the problem will go for the side, more and more nervous moments they will have to encounter as an immature side.
The sides have a difference in the batting department and performances in the season, but on the bowling fronts, the teams go neck to neck. While the pair of Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah have been wreaking havoc for the opposition batsmen, Proteas pacers Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje have not tormented opposition teams any less and if the duo gets it right against the star-studded Mumbai line up, the Capitals will have a great chance of outshining the undisputed best team of the league phase.
Trent Boult has taken 20 wickets at an average-strike rate combo of 20.90 and 8.14 runs per over while Jasprit Bumrah has bettered his teammate by bagging 23 wickets at an astounding average of 15.73 and economy rate of 6.96 runs per over.
On the other hand, Kagiso Rabada has been phenomenal through the season barring few off days and has scalped out 25 wickets with an average of 17.80 and economy rate of 8.14 runs per over. Anrich Nortje has been an equally potent ally for Rabada with 19 wickets at 21.10 runs per wicket and an economy rate of 7.96 runs per over.
Having said that, in the battle of these elites pacers in world cricket, Boult and Bumrah have shown immense quality complementing each other's ability throughout the tournament. While Boult has been the highest wicket-taker in the powerplays this tournament, this has allowed Bumrah to wreak havoc in the middle and death overs, using his arsenal effectively with a softened ball.
Nothing can be taken away from the duo of Rabada and Nortje though, who have breathed fire on the opposition beating them with their sheer pace throughout the tournament.
Date: 05 November 2020, at 7:30 PM IST, 06:00 PM Local, 2.00 PM GMT
Venue: Dubai International stadium
Broadcast: Star Sports and Hotstar
Pitch and weather
A new pitch will be used for the Qualifier 1 to be played between the Mumbai Indians and the Delhi Capitals and that will bring new ball bowlers on either side into the game. Whichever team will start well with the new ball and against it, will set the early momentum in their favour and teams will be wary of following through with the context of the game with an extra stake will put them under immense pressure.
The weather conditions in Dubai are likely to be stable under 30 degrees temperature range and the onset of due may also prove to determine for captains while making their decisions after winning the toss.
The return of Rohit Sharma will give a lot of relief to the Mumbai Indians camp albeit the extent of his injury is yet unclear. Rohit has expressed satisfaction at regaining fitness just at the right time and he will have to find his touch without any delay to give a solid start to his team. The Capitals will back their pacers to attack him and Rohit will hold the key in setting the pace of the Mumbai innings as he has been doing for so many seasons.
There will be no experimentation from the Mumbai side and they will field their strongest team which will have Hardik Pandya with the role of unleashing demoralising stroke-making lower down the order and the ever so effective and lethal pair of Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult. The team will have to fret over Nathan-Coulter Nile or James Pattinson for the third seamer but Pattinson should make the cut based on his good performances in the early and mid part of the tournament.
Rohit Sharma (captain), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, James Pattinson, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah
The Capitals had changed the structure of their playing XI in the last game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore by dropping Shimron Hetmyer and bringing Daniel Sams into the playing XI. The decision was taken to add solidity to the top order with Prithvi Shaw not being in good form and therefore adding the cushion of Ajinkya Rahane at the top. The combination worked perfectly fine for the Capitals in the last game and they are unlikely to walk back on it.
However, this playing XI can be tricky when the team will be in pursuit of the big run chase with Rahane showing signs of not being at his best in terms of boundary hitting and therefore the success of Rabada and Nortje will matter a lot to the Capitals chance if they are thinking of challenging the marathon ride of the Mumbai Indians.
Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer (captain), Rishabh Pant (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Daniel Sams, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje
Ishan Kishan, Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Shikhar Dhawan, Krunal Pandya, Marcus Stoinis, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Kagiso Rabada
Captain: Quinton de Kock
Vice-captain: Shikhar Dhawan
Powered by Froala Editor