In-form Delhi eye Mumbai scalp

In-form Delhi eye Mumbai scalp

Delhi Capitals' Rishabh Pant during a training session on Wednesday. PTI

With three successful away games, Delhi Capitals have whipped up a winning momentum they lacked in the past. They have also grabbed second place on the points table, a possibility which appeared bleak given their fluctuating start. Delhi will now be eager to extend their streak of hot form on home turf, where they have won just one out of the three they hosted.

It is a credit to the Delhi side that they quickly dusted off their messy chases which threatened to ruin their season. With five wins and three defeats, they match the statistical figures of their high-profile opponents on Thursday, Mumbai Indians. However, it is the better run-rate which has given the home team the edge on the points table.

Delhi's explosive and young top order has been consistently among runs. New Zealander Colin Munro smashing an attractive 40 off 24 balls in the previous match has only added to the Delhi’s advantage.

However, in their previous two matches against Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad, Delhi has shown they have more to them than just their batting. Their foreign bowlers Kagiso Rabada, Chris Morris and Keemo Paul have delivered creditably.

There will also be plenty of focus on local boy Rishabh Pant, whose non-inclusion in the World Cup squad has divided the cricket fraternity. The youngster drew significant interest during the training on Wednesday, and his reaction to the setback will be keenly watched.

Delhi will be hoping to get a better pitch at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium as well. The track was criticised as the ‘worst ever’ by coach Ricky Ponting following their last home match against Hyderabad. It has been two weeks since, and it is believed the groundsmen are working towards making a pitch more suited to the home side.

However, given the strength of Mumbai batting, it will be a tricky task. A belter would also allow the in-form Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya to run amok. Not to forget there is captain Rohit Sharma along with big hitters Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan.

Their attack has the best death bowlers in Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah, who has been impressive with both the old and new ball.

The worrying aspect for Mumbai is that they are coming from three straight matches at home, where they won twice. But the former champions have shown how dangerous they can be as the tournament progresses.

In their previous meeting this season, Delhi had prevailed with a 37-run win. With the race to play-off now picking up, the two teams will want to solidify their chances of remaining in contention. For Delhi, at least, it will be about creating a winning streak at home.

DH News Service