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Here we are... The most awaited play- offs of the prestigious Indian Premier League 2020 is now just a day away. The fans could not ask for a better league stage as the league stages saw the teams competing really hard as it went down till the last match to decide the top four teams.

The Qualifier 1 is set to take place between the defending champions Mumbai Indians and the Shreyas Iyer led Delhi Capitals at  the Dubai International Stadium. The format of the play-offs would mean that the top two teams gets two bites at the cherry as the loser of this clash will play the winner of the eliminator, which is scheduled to take place between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

The two times the teams met each other in the league stages, both the matches were won by the mighty Mumbai Indians. The first match saw the Mumbai Indians chase down a score 164 with 5 wickets in hand. While, the second time the two sides met the DC batting line-up was shattered apart by the deadly bowling pair of Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult. The Delhi team were reduced to 110 in their 20 overs for a loss of 9 wickets. In reply, the MI came out all guns blazing as the opener Ishan Kishan smashed a quick-fire 72 of 47 balls and guided his team to dominating 9 wicket win. 

The table toppers Mumbai Indians will come into this match on the back of a loss as they were demolished by the SRH openers David Warner and Saha who put on a splendid stand of 151 runs to guide the team to a 10-wicket win in the all important match. On the other side the Delhi Capitals will feel pumped up as they bounced back well against the RCB after a 4- match losing streak. 

Can the four times champions make easy work of Delhi? Or does the Delhi Capitals have a surprise for the fans in store?

Head to Head

Matches Played- 26, MI- 14, DC- 12, N/R- 0

Team News

It was great news for the Mumbai Indians as their captain made it back to the line- up after an injury. It will definitely boost the confidence of the team as his presence is likely to enlighten the line- up given his track record as the captain. The Mumbai Indians were free to rest their key players in the match against Sunrisers as the result would not have affected them in any way. But now the MI will be back with the top performers for this all important clash. The only change is likely to be that of Saurabh Tiwary, who would be replaced by their captain Rohit Sharma.

The Delhi team on the other side would be happy to feature the same Xl that took them to a comfortable win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Said that, the form of their young opener Prithvi Shaw might be a concern for them. Said that, the right- hander is someone who gets going once he gets in the groove. The Delhi Capitals will be hoping he can fire for the team.

Pitch and Conditions

The conditions are ideal for cricket as clear skies are expected throughout the day. The temperatures have been declining as well over the past few days, the temperature is expected to be hovering in the range of 27-31 degree mark. While, the humidity at peak is expected to reach 58 percent.

The pitch in Dubai has been on the slower side as the ball seems to be sticking to the pitch at times. But the due has played a vital role in the last few games and has helped the chasing team considerably. Said that, a score of 170 plus still seems a winning total. 

Probable Playing Xl

Mumbai Indians (MI): Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard (c), Hardik Pandya, James Pattinson, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah

Delhi Capitals (DC): Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje

Key Battles

Rohit Sharma (MI) vs Kagiso Rabada (DC)

Rohit Sharma (MI) vs Kagiso Rabada (DC)

The Hitman is back!!! The most successful captain in the Indian Premier League is back and he is right in time for his team. The Indian Opener is definitely one of the hardest hitters of the ball in the sport and if he gets going the Delhi Capitals will have serious issues to solve. Though he was not able to deliver in his comeback match for the MI, he is someone who is quick to regain his form.

Delhi Capitals will be backing their spearhead Kagiso Rabada to do the job as he has been doing a wonderful job this season. The proteas pacer overtook Jasprit Bumrah to reclaim the prestigious purple cap, he is now 2 wickets ahead of the Indian pacer and this match could be a great battle between them as well.

Can the Hitman get his guns out in style? Or will the proteas pacer make his stay a short one?

Shikhar Dhawan (DC) vs Jasprit Bumrah (MI)

Shikhar Dhawan (DC) vs Jasprit Bumrah (MI)

Shikhar Dhawan has been the pillar for the DC this season and he has more than often single-handedly taken his team home. The southpaw will once again have to play out of skin as his partner Prithvi Shaw is undergoing a rough patch. He will also be aware that the orange cap is within his reach as few splendid knocks could get him closer to the KXIP skipper KL Rahul, who is at the top of the table with 670 runs.

But his job would not be as easy because he will be facing one of the toughest bowling units in the tournament which includes the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult. Said that, he was unbeaten in the first encounter between these two sides but the second encounter was an entirely different story as the opener was dismissed for a duck by the Kiwi pacer Trent Boult. This time though we feel Bumrah will be able to give a tough battle.

Can the southpaw once again take his team home? Or will the Boom Boom York him out?

Prediction

On the form and squad basis one would say Mumbai Indians. But do not underestimate the Delhi team as they have striking when they need to and it would not be a surprise if they manage to pull this one as well.

The DC have been doing things right this season but the dependence on few players has been the issue. If the team comes together for this crucial encounter, the Mumbai Indians would be facing a very tough task.

The conditions though favor the Mumbai Indians as they are very good players of spin bowling and a couple of very hard- hitters who can change the game in the matter of a few balls. It might all come down to which pair bowls better, the deadly combo of Bumrah and Boult or the pacy combo of Rabada and Nortje. Given that the MI know these situations better and their experience does give them the edge here.

Cricwizz predicts Mumbai Indians to win the Qualifier 1