Both Mumbai and Delhi are on 10 points from eight matches each. A win will take them closer, a loss will hurt but not dent their chances completely. Yet, now is the time to hit momentum going into the latter stages.
Both sides have momentum going into this clash. Mumbai have won four of their last five matches. Delhi have won their last three. Interestingly, all three of those games were away from home. The franchise have beaten Mumbai in their last three encounters and will look to build on that momentum.
Delhi have struggled a bit at their venue, the Feroz Shah Kotla. They've lost two of their three matches at home, winning the other in a Super Over. The slow nature of the pitch has made Ricky Ponting and others question the lack of home advantage, but that's unlikely to change anytime soon.
“It shouldn’t be a difficult pitch for us anymore, it will be difficult for Mumbai to come and play on this surface," said Ponting ahead of the match. "We have a pretty clear understanding as to how this wicket is going to play. We expect it to be pretty slow and low, and it might turn as well so we are going to be very well prepared. The pitch for the last match probably caught us a little bit off-guard. We expected it to be a bit better but at the end of the day, the wicket is what it is, and both the teams are going to play on it.”
In such conditions, Delhi need their top order to show consistency. Only captain Shreyas Iyer has been consistent this season, although Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan have one score in the 90s each. Rishabh Pant began with a 27-ball 78*, but has faded out since. Incidentally, that came against Mumbai. Ponting is among many to think the World Cup omission could free up Pant. If that's the case, Mumbai could well be in the firing line again.
Delhi have the bowling for slow tracks. Keemo Paul's pace variations helped Delhi beat Sunrisers Hyderabad, Amit Mishra and Axar Patel add spin options. Delhi have got the purple cap holder Kagiso Rabada too, while Chris Morris and Ishant Sharma have been perfect support acts.
Mumbai, though, have the ammunition to counter all that and more. Rohit Sharma is yet to hit peak form but he has shown promise. Quinton de Kock is beginning to convert his starts. Suryakumar Yadav has chipped in with contributions while Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard have been really good down the order.
Delhi beat Mumbai by 37 runs at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Keemo Paul: He was in and out of the XI for the first half of the tournament, but Paul has sealed his place, at least temporarily, with a superb spell against Hyderabad. Paul's various versions of the slower ball makes life difficult for batsmen, especially on tracks like the one in Delhi. He broke the heart of Hyderabad's batting with the wickets of Jonny Bairstow and Kane Williamson in the last match.
Rahul Chahar: Krunal Pandya has largely struggled this season, leaving Chahar to take up the role as the frontline spinner. Chahar has got the nod ahead of Mayank Markande this year, and has done a fair job. The numbers don't exactly reflect his performance; Chahar has only three wickets so far this season from five matches, but expect that to change on a spin-friendly track in Delhi.
TEAM NEWS/AVAILABILITY UPDATES
Delhi: Colin Ingram, who had missed the previous match to fly home for the birth of his child, is not available. Colin Munro is likely to keep his place.
Mumbai: Alzarri Joseph is out of the remaining matches.
Delhi: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Colin Munro, Shreyas Iyer(c), Rishabh Pant(w), Chris Morris, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Keemo Paul, Kagiso Rabada, Ishant Sharma/Rahul Tewatia
Mumbai: Rohit Sharma(c), Quinton de Kock(w), Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Jason Behrendorff, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah.
Delhi Capitals: Ishant Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Amit Mishra, Colin Ingram, Colin Munro, Jalaj Saxena, Trent Boult, Chris Morris, Hanuma Vihari, Bandaru Ayyappa, Axar Patel, Ankush Bains, Shreyas Iyer (c), Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Tewatia, Avesh Khan, Jagadeesha Suchith, Nathu Singh, Rishabh Pant, Sandeep Lamichhane, Keemo Paul, Prithvi Shaw, Manjot Kalra, Sherfane Rutherford
Mumbai Indians: Yuvraj Singh, Lasith Malinga, Rohit Sharma (c), Kieron Pollard, Aditya Tare, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jason Behrendorff, Suryakumar Yadav, Ben Cutting, Jayant Yadav, Quinton de Kock, Evin Lewis, Barinder Sran, Siddhesh Lad, Jasprit Bumrah, Pankaj Jaiswal, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Anmolpreet Singh, Alzarri Joseph, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Anukul Roy, Mayank Markande, Rasikh Salam
First Published: April 17, 2019, 8:16 PM IST