A win away from the playoffs, Delhi Capitals will look to achieve its primary objective at the expense of Rajasthan Royals in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Fresh from snatching a dramatic last-over victory from Punjab Kings, even RR has reasons to be hopeful of repeating the dose it handed out to DC in Mumbai in the first phase of the competition. A win will get RR back into the top-four bracket.
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DC, the clear favourite, has only complacency to guard against. With an Indian top-order and a pair of South African speedsters ready to fire, DC looks good to start well – whether batting or bowling. The team can afford to give all-rounder Marcus Stoinis a much-needed rest after he left the field against Sunrisers Hyderabad with a suspected hamstring injury. A trustworthy middle-order and variety in bowling leaves wicketkeeper-captain Rishabh Pant in much better mindspace than his counterpart, Sanju Samson.
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Dealt a setback by the quartet of withdrawn players – Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer and Andrew Tye – RR has to hit the ground running. There is not much time for its fresh imports to settle down.
Sanju’s form holds the key for RR. After his 119 on captaincy debut, he has not done much of note this season. How he shows up against DC’s quality bowling will be interesting to watch.
Not to forget, the contest in the afternoon is sure to test the preparedness of the players in warmer conditions.