The twelfth edition of the Indian Premier League starts on March 23, and in the third encounter we see three-time champions Mumbai Indians locking horns with a youthful Delhi Capitals team at the Wankhede Stadium.
The Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai outfit is one of the frontrunners to lift the IPL trophy this time around, and boasts of a squad with enviable depth and variety in both the batting and bowling departments. After winning the title in 2013, 2015 and 2017, Mumbai are touted by many to lift the trophy this season. With experienced T20 specialists in their squad, they have the fuel and mileage to go all the way. On the other hand, Delhi Capitals have seen almost a total overhaul, which has resulted in a change of kit and franchise name. They possess a young squad, led by Shreyas Iyer, that does not have a lot of experience, and this could hamper their chances. The Capitals have roped in Ricky Ponting as the coach and Sourav Ganguly as their advisor, and the duo is capable of motivating the talented DC team.
Mumbai are expected to field Quinton De Kock, Kieron Pollard, Jason Behrendorrf and Adam Milne as their overseas players in the playing eleven, along with their skipper Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Mayank Markande and Jasprit Bumrah.
Delhi are expected to play Colin Munro, Chris Morris, Trent Boult and Kagiso Rabada as their overseas players, along with their captain Shreyas Iyer, Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra and Ishant Sharma.
Quinton de Kock vs Trent Boult
Quinton de Kock has been one of the mainstays in the South African cricket team. The Proteas wicketkeeper has 927 runs from 34 IPL matches, at 28.09 with an excellent strike rate of more than 130. He was traded by the Royal Challengers Bangalore to the Mumbai Indians after a surprisingly underwhelming season last year.
Trent Boult has been a vital cog in the New Zealand bowling attack over the years. The left arm Kiwi pacer is adept at testing batsmen on all surfaces, and is an excellent fielder. From 28 IPL matches, Boult has managed to prise out 33 wickets at an excellent average of 19.72. His economy rate is 8.82 and slightly on the higher side, but that is down to him bowling predominantly in the death overs.
Jasprit Bumrah vs Shikhar Dhawan
Jasprit Bumrah is arguably one of the best bowlers in the T20 circuit, and with his ability to bowl yorkers and slower deliveries on a consistent basis, he is a big force to reckon with. He has an unorthodox bowling action. Bumrah has 63 wickets at an average of 28.20 with an economy rate of just under eight, and that is commendable, considering that he bowls a lot of final overs.
Shikhar Dhawan has been the Indian team’s opener for many years now, and the Delhi southpaw is a fearless and enterprising cricketer with a vast array of attacking shots. His ability to attack from the word go, makes him a very crucial player and a tough competitor. Dhawan was bought by the Delhi side from Sunrisers Hyderabad, and if he is able to replicate his performances, Delhi would benefit hugely. He has 4058 runs from 143 matches, with a batting average of 33.26 at a healthy strike rate of 123.53.
Taking into consideration the experience and chemistry of the Mumbai team, coupled with their home record at the Wankhede Stadium, Team CricWizz expects Mumbai Indians to comfortably win its first match against Delhi Capitals. But the unpredictability and fearlessness of the youthful Delhi side make the Capitals a dangerous opposition too, and they can most definitely not be written off.