After ending our Mumbai leg of VIVO IPL 2021 on a high with a 6-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders, our caravan now moves to the capital. There cannot be a better way to begin proceedings in New Delhi than facing off against one of our favourite opponents – Mumbai Indians. Although MI are the most successful side in IPL history, we enjoy a good record against them. As far as head-to-head numbers go, both teams have won 11 games against each other, but the recent record is heavily on our side. We have come out victorious in five out of the six games against Mumbai since 2018.
It remains to be seen how the conditions will play out in Delhi this year. In the last few seasons, the batters haven’t found it very easy to score here. We will derive confidence from the fact that we enjoy a better win percentage at the venue than our opponents. The momentum too is on our side, as we come in to the game on back of a win, while MI have lost two consecutive games before this one.
All Eyes On:
We are once again looking at Jos Buttler, but this time, we’re looking even harder! A big score is still due from him this season and if we simply go by the numbers, this Thursday is the day when we are in with a big chance of getting our wish. Jos enjoys an enviable record against his former team, averaging over 85 and strikes at an impressive 175. The Englishman has reached the 50-mark three times in four innings and his career best IPL score of 94* came against them too. Buttler also boasts of a very good T20 record in Delhi, where he has scored two half-centuries in five innings and has a strike rate of 180.
Sanju Samson v Rahul Chahar
Our captain has taken on the MI spinner at a strike rate of 177.8 in the IPL. On the other hand, Chahar, who is having a good season, has got Sanju out once in three IPL innings. Samson would be looking to continue with his attacking ways against the leggie at the small Kotla ground.
Jos Buttler v Trent Boult
Our opening batter has had an upper hand over the left-arm pacer in the IPL. He strikes at 162.5 against the dreaded quick, who has not managed to pick his wicket in five encounters. We might see Jos get into business early in the Powerplay on Thursday.
Jaydev Unadkat v Rohit Sharma
Jaydev Unadkat would be the key for us to get the Mumbai Indians batters on the backfoot early. Although MI captain and opener Rohit Sharma has scored quickly (SR of 156) against Unadkat, he averages just 19.5 against the pacer, who has got him out twice in seven IPL innings.
After some mixed fortunes in Mumbai, the Royals would look to start the Delhi leg on a positive note, and a win against the defending champions could be the perfect morale booster for us at this stage in the tournament. It would also help us rise over the clutter that has formed in the middle of the points table, with four teams, including ourselves, sitting on four points.*
*After the DCvRCB game