IPL 2022: Well-oiled Capitals the next hurdle for RCB

Harshal Patel’s likely availability bolsters Royal Challengers Bangalore for its key clash against Delhi Capitals.

Virat Kohli

RCB has three wins out of five in the IPL this season.   -  Sportzpics for IPL

Royal Challengers Bangalore will be hoping to return to winning ways when it meets Delhi Capitals in an Indian Premier League clash at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.

After three consecutive wins, RCB was defeated by Chennai Super Kings in its last outing, and ahead of a key game, the team, led by Faf du Plessis this season, will have to regroup.

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With Harshal Patel likely to be available for selection, RCB’s pace bowling department will be bolstered. Harshal has been a vital cog in the wheel for RCB, adding value with his variations and the ability to bowl in the death overs, and his return will be a boost.

All eyes on Kohli

In batting, the team will depend on captain du Plessis and Anuj Rawat for a brisk start, while the middle order would revolve around Dinesh Karthik and Shahbaz Ahmed. Virat Kohli has a couple of 40-plus scores, but he has lacked the consistency; the team will expect runs from him for this game.

The Capitals come into the fixture on the back of a convincing win against Kolkata Knight Riders, and its bowling unit looks potent and well-oiled. Spinner Kuldeep Yadav is the top wicket-taker with 10 scalps, while pacer Khaleel Ahmed has picked up seven wickets.

Prithvi Shaw’s form - he has hit two attacking half-centuries - and David Warner’s experience have ensured that there is solidity at the top. However, there have been troubles in the middle order and the team will hope for captain Rishabh Pant to step up.

Delhi physio Patrick Farhart, meanwhile, has tested positive for COVID-19 and is being monitored by the medical team.

DC training session cancelled

The Delhi Capitals’ pre-match training was cancelled after team physiotherapist Patrick Farhart’s COVID-19 test returned positive.

Sportstar understands that Farhart’s was the only positive test among the Capitals’ contingent during the mandatory pre-match day testing. While Farhart will be quarantined for at least five days, the whole squad has been put in isolation until further notice. Friday evening’s optional training session was called off.

The IPL authorities had done away with match-day testing for IPL 2022. However, the remaining members of the squad will go another round of testing ahead of the game. Should there be no further positive test, the match will go ahead as scheduled.

The IPL protocols for the season specify that the match will be postponed or cancelled only if a team is “unable to field a team on account of COVID for any match due to having less than 12 Players available - 11 in the playing XI (of which at least seven must be Indian) plus one substitute fielder.”

- Amol Karhadkar

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