Delhi Capitals' players greet RCB team after their match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. File / Courtesy: IPL website
Mohammad Abdullah, Staff Reporter
Both Delhi Capitals (DC) and Royals Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will look to avoid any unwanted jitters and qualify for the play-offs with an out-right victory in their crucial Indian Premier League (IPL) match on Monday.
Both the teams just need a win to qualify for knockout stages.
However, even a loss will not rule either of them out of the qualification. Five teams are in fray for the remaining three play-offs berths after a resurgent Chennai Super Kings (CSK) eliminated Kings XI Punjab with a nine-wicket win.
But a victory will send the winners directly into the knock-out stages without having to wait for the result of the teams, who are in also contention.
Both Bangalore and Delhi are on 14 points each in the second and third place respectively behind the leaders Mumbai Indian, who have already moved into the play-offs with 18 points and have a game left against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
The winner will have 16 points in their kitty, which no other team can procure now. While the losers will still be in contention with 14 points as the fate of the last two qualifying teams will be decided by the virtue of the net run rate.
As many as three teams can finish campaign on 14 points even after Bangalore-Delhi match.
As the race for the play-offs spot is set to go down to the wire with Hyderabad taking on Mumbai. If Hyderabad win they will also have 14 point and their run rate is best among all the teams fighting for the remaining two spot.
Meanwhile, Delhi, who peaked too early in the tournament and remained at the top of the table for most the time, seem to have run out of the steam. They have put their campaign in peril with four consecutive losses after a stellar start.
Three out of four defeats have been by a heavy margin, which has seriously dented their run rate. A victory will also guarantee a top-two finish in the tournament.
The tournament is being played in the Round Robin format. The top two teams will meet in the first qualifier. The winner will directly go into the final while the loser will have another chance.
The loser will meet the winners of the second qualifier in the eliminator and the winner will then move to the final. So finishing in the top two will be an added advantage.
Delhi’s strength has been their bowling. They have one of the most potent bowling line-ups, which can defend any score on a given day. It features the South African pace duo Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, wily spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel.
But their star-studded bowling attack has been meted out with some battering in the recent matches. Both the pacers Rabada and Nortje have failed to create the same magic as before.
Delhi don’t have a star-studded batting line–up like Mumbai and Bangalore, but they do not bank on any star player. In all their matches, someone or other steps up to lead the charge and takes the team over the line.
Bangalore have a star-studded batting line-up. With the likes of AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli, Devdutt Padikkal and Aaron Finch, who can change the complexion of any game. With De Villiers in ruthless form, the balance seems to tilt towards the Bangalore.
Delhi Capitals: Ajinkya Rahane, Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shimron Hetmyer, Shreyas Iyer, Amit Mishra, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada, Mohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Sandeep Lamichhane, Tushar Deshpande, Axar Patel, Daniel Sams, Keemo Paul, Lalit Yadav, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Rishabh Pant.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), Parthiv Patel, AB de Villiers, Chris Morris, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shivam Dubey, Aaron Finch, Umesh Yadav, Adam Zampa, Washington Sundar, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Dale Steyn, Moeen Ali, Pawan Negi, Gurkeerat Mann Singh, Isuru Udana, Devdutt Padikkal, Shahbaz Ahamad, Joshua Philippe, Pavan Deshpande
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