IPL 2019: Delhi Capitals eyes top two finish on home turf

Delhi Capitals will have the chance to complete a remarkable turnaround at home when it takes on Rajasthan Royals at the Ferozeshah Kotla.

Delhi Capitals in this season has lost three out of four games at its home ground.   -  AFP Photo

Delhi Capitals will have the chance to complete a remarkable turnaround at home when it takes on Rajasthan Royals at the Ferozeshah Kotla here. The team at one point lost three out of four games here; a win on Saturday will end its league on a high and ensure it has more wins (four) than losses (three) here this season.

It will look to bounce back from its defeat in the previous game against Chennai Super Kings, a defeat Shreyas Iyer, the captain, termed as “reality check.”

What was worrying from Capitals’ point of view was its struggles against spin. Leg-spinner Imran Tahir and left-arm orthodox spinner Ravindra Jadeja shared seven wickets between them as Capitals was bowled out for 99, chasing 180. On a surface likely to assist spin, it will have to adopt a better approach and a better plan.

Watch: Rajasthan's playoff hopes hanging by a thread

The bowling had been of high standard for much of the tournament due to the accuracy and death-bowling skills of fast bowler Kagiso Rabada. With Rabada now ruled out, the contest will be another experiment to determine what challenges surface with his absence. Can Trent Boult step up to the plate? Boult had been expensive in the previous contest — against Super Kings — and will hope to be sharper this time.

In comparison, Rajasthan Royals has bigger headaches. The team possesses 11 points from 13 matches, and will need to win this game to retain a slim chance of securing the fourth Playoff spot. In a must-win contest, it will be without Steve Smith, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes — they have all left for Cricket World Cup 2019 duty.

Ajinkya Rahane will lead the side once again.

Despite the challenges, the team will be buoyant after having been undefeated in its last three matches. It could have ensured three wins out of three had rain not intervened in its last contest — against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Bengaluru.

Read: Last chance for Sunrisers Hyderabad to make playoffs

Incidentally, its last defeat was against Capitals at home. In a run-fest, Rishabh Pant had struck a belligerent 78 to steer Capitals home in the final over.

Pant has scored in single digits since then. Both his half-centuries in the competition so far have been away from home. Ferozeshah Kotla is where Pant has played much of his domestic cricket, and the upcoming contest will be a good chance to entertain his home fans for a change.

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