IPL 2020 Qualifier 1: MI vs DC - Batting gives Mumbai Indians the edge over Delhi Capitals

DC’s power-hitting will have to come good if it wants to compete on level terms with the four-time champion and have a shot at entering its maiden IPL 2020 final.

Frightening all-round strength and playoff experience gives MI the edge in Qualifier 1.   -  Sportzpics

Defending champion Mumbai Indians may have been thrashed by 10 wickets by Sunrisers Hyderabad, but going into Thursday’s first qualifier against Delhi Capitals at the Dubai International Stadium, it is the firm favourite.

For MI, Tuesday's game was a dead-rubber, having already sealed top spot. It used the opportunity to rest three of its best players in Jasprit Bumrah (23 wickets), Trent Boult (20 wickets) and Hardik Pandya, a luxury most teams cannot afford. That’s how much of a well-oiled machine MI is.

If anything, the match against SRH can be considered a positive, for skipper Rohit Sharma emerged unscathed after his return from a hamstring injury.

READ: IPL Playoffs Complete Schedule

In Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan, MI has a power-packed top-order, but in its batting totem pole, Rohit has consistently occupied the highest position. To have the 33-year-old seemingly injury free — even if the BCCI does not appear to agree — ahead of the most important part of the season is a big boost.

HEAD-TO-HEAD  guide | Here's how Mumbai and Delhi have done in the playoffs over the years and how they match up against each other.

 

-- Mumbai Indians has lost two out of its three matches in Dubai, but both were after Super Overs

-- The one victory came against Delhi Capitals by nine wickets

-- Delhi Capitals has won four out of seven in Dubai, but the three losses have come in its last three matches here

Spinners Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya have been excellent too, picking up 20 wickets between them, while bowling at a healthy economy-rate of under eight.

Delhi captain Shreyas Iyer has crossed 25 just once in the last six matches.   -  BCCI/IPL

 

For a majority of the season, DC looked just as settled and convincing before things started unravelling. That it snapped its near-disastrous four-match losing streak to qualify second can give the side confidence, but teething troubles remain.

Skipper Shreyas Iyer has crossed 25 just once in the last six matches, while Prithvi Shaw has totalled a meagre 30 runs from his six most recent outings.

READ: The recipe for Mumbai Indians' success

Ajinkya Rahane, batting at one-drop, shored up the brittle top-order with a match-winning half-century against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Shikhar Dhawan’s return to form, with a measured innings, helped too. But to match MI’s might, DC’s power-hitting will have to come good.

On the slow UAE pitches, DC has sorely missed leg-spinner Amit Mishra, but the performance of R. Ashwin and Axar Patel against RCB was encouraging. After going slightly off the boil, the express pace duo of Kagiso Rabada (25 wickets) and Anrich Nortje (19) was back on track, accounting for five of the seven batsmen dismissed.

Following the win over RCB, Shreyas called his teammates “a fearless and amazing bunch of boys”. If they can carry DC to its maiden IPL final by beating a four-time champion, it will be a victory to savour.

QUALIFIER 1

Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Capitals

Dubai International Stadium, 7.30pm onwards

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