Delhi Capitals (DC) will be looking to end their run of defeats and confirm a spot in the playoffs when they face the Mumbai Indians (MI) in the 51st match of the Indian Premier League on Saturday.
With three defeats on the trot, DC have faltered in the latter stage of the league season after dominating for much of it. While MI are on top of the table with 16 points, DC (14 points) are at the third place, thanks to their net run-rate which is lower than that of second-placed Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
If DC suffer defeats in their next two matches, it is possible that Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) would surpass them on net run-rate, even if the KL Rahul-led side win only one of their remaining two matches. Heavy defeats in their next two games could even push DC out of the top four if Kolkata Knight Riders or SunRisers Hyderabad register big wins.
On the other hand, a win against MI would put them beyond the reach of the fifth-placed side in the league and thus confirm a spot in the playoffs.
MI will be looking to keep up their momentum as putting their feet up could result in them fall out of the top two and thus having to play an extra match in the playoffs.
Their top-order, comprising Quinton de Kock, Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav, have been in good form in recent games while Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya and Hardik Pandya have done the job in the lower middle-order.
Meanwhile, MI bowlers had a poor outing against Rajasthan Royals but they staged a roaring comeback against Bangalore.
MI's lethal pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult have been their backbone while Pollard, Rahul Chahar, and Krunal have chipped in with important wickets. Captain Rohit Sharma's fitness remains a concern, but MI have hardly missed him in the two matches that he has not played.
DC's batting lineup has been their main cause of concern in their recent run of defeats. Bowlers Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada also had a dismal outing against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain), Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Chris Lynn, Dhawal Kulkarni, Digvijay Deshmukh, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), James Pattison, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mohsin Khan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Prince Balwant Rai, Quinton De Kock (wicket-keeper), Rahul Chahar, Saurabh Tiwary, Sherfane Rutherford, Suryakumar Yadav, Trent Boult
Delhi Capitals: Shreyas Iyer (Captain), Kagiso Rabada, Marcus Stoinis, Sandeep Lamichhane, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Shimron Hetmyer, Alex Carey (wicket-keeper), Mohit Sharma, Prithvi Shaw, Lalit Yadav, Avesh Khan, Axar Patel, Tushar Deshpande, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Harshal Patel, Keemo Paul, Pravin Dubey, Anrich Nortje, Daniel Sams