Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings to keep play-off hopes alive

Navi Mumbai, May 15 (PTI) Struggling to find consistency, Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings will look to beat each other in an Indian Premier League match here on Monday to keep their hopes of a place in the play-off alive.

Both the teams have not been able to win two consecutive matches so far in the current season and both the teams are not in a position to lose another match.

Punjab team is seventh in the points table with 12 points and has a net run rate plus 0.023. Delhi’s team also has 12 points but with a good net run rate of plus 0.210, the team is in fifth place, which can give it an advantage in case two or more teams have the same number of points.

After an eight-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in the previous match, Delhi Capitals will go into the contest with increased confidence while Punjab Kings also defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore in their previous match.

Delhi opener David Warner is in very good shape but the second opener remains a matter of concern for the team. Mandeep Singh and Shrikar Bharat have disappointed in the absence of Prithvi Sau. However, Prithvi, who is recovering from typhoid, has also not been performing as expected in the current season.

Prithvi has been discharged from the hospital but it remains to be seen whether the youngster is fit for this crucial match on Monday.

However, it is a relief for Delhi that Mitchell Marsh has finally returned to the rhythm. The aggressive all-rounder has done well with both bat and ball against the Royals and his and Warner’s role will be crucial for the team’s success.

All eyes will also be on Captain Rishabh Pant. Pant hit two sixes during his four-ball knock against the Royals but so far has not been able to play the match-winning innings that he is capable of.

Rovman Powell has shown his ability to hit fours and sixes and has shown that he can win matches for the team with help from the top order.

Punjab’s bowling attack is led by Kagiso Rabada, who is the most successful fast bowler in the current season.

Arshdeep Singh did a great job for Punjab but Rahul Chahar is proving costly.

Delhi’s bowling attack against the Royals impressed.

Young Chetan Sakaria bowled brilliantly in the absence of Khaleel Ahmed, who was out with a leg injury, while pacer Enrich Norkia is also finding his way.

The weakest aspect of the team’s bowling is Shardul Thakur who is proving to be very expensive and he is not getting enough wickets.

In front of Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Shikhar Dhawan and Bhanuka Rajapaksa, however, the road for Delhi bowlers will not be easy.

The England pair of Bairstow and Livingstone are capable of destroying any bowling attack that they put up against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Dhawan is Punjab’s top scorer with over 400 runs and the team will be expecting a lot from him in this do or die match. Bairstow has also found momentum after getting the opportunity to open the innings with Dhawan and that is a big positive for the team.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who has impressed with his ability to play big shots, however, needs to convert a good start into a big innings.

Middle-order captain Mayank Agarwal hasn’t been up to the mark with the bat so far and he couldn’t have had a better time to play the captaincy innings.

The teams are as follows:

Delhi Capitals: Rishabh Pant (capt), Ashwin Hebbar, David Warner, Mandeep Singh, Prithvi Shaw, Rovman Powell, Anrich Norkia, Chetan Sakaria, Khaleel Ahmed, Kuldeep Yadav, Lungi Ngidi, Mustafizur Rahman, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Kamlesh Nagarkoti , Lalit Yadav, Mitchell Marsh, Praveen Dubey, Ripple Patel, Sarfaraz Khan, Vicky Ostwal, Yash Dhul, KS Bharat and Tim Seifert.

Punjab Kings: Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal (c), Arshdeep Singh, Kagiso Rabada, Jonny Bairstow, Rahul Chahar, Harpreet Brar, Shah Rukh Khan, Prabhsimran Singh, Jitesh Sharma, Ishan Porel, Liam Livingstone, Odeon Smith, Sandeep Sharma, Raj Angad Bawa, Rishi Dhawan, Prerak Mankad, Vaibhav Arora, Hrithik Chatterjee, Baltej Dhanda, Ansh Patel, Nathan Ellis, Atharva Taede, Bhanuka Rajapakse and Benny Howell.

Timing: The match will start at 7:30 PM.