The second spot on the Indian Premier League (IPL) Points Table will be on the line when Delhi Capitals (DC) host Mumbai Indians (MI) at the Feroze Shah Kotla in New Delhi on Thursday. Both teams are on 10 points from eight matches, with DC ahead on net run rate. With the final part of the IPL season approaching, the winners of Thursday's match will put themselves in a comfortable position to finish among the playoff spots. The loser, on the other hand, will have to fend with Kings XI Punjab (10 points from 9 matches) and Kolkata Knight Riders (8 points from 8 matches) breathing down their neck.
Both teams will be coming into the game having registered convincing wins in their previous encounters.
While Delhi Capitals have been on a roll in recent times and won their last three games -- against Royal Challengers Bangalore, KKR and Sunrisers Hyderabad -- Mumbai have been inconsistent as is the case with them in the first half of the season. In their last three games, MI won against KXIP, lost to Rajasthan Royals and won again in their last game against RCB.
But come Thursday, it will be a different ball game as both teams will need to adapt well to the low and slow wicket at the Kotla. While Mumbai batsmen are used to playing on wickets where the ball comes on well to the bat, Delhi also boasts of stroke makers like Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant. Adaptation will be key.
It will also be interesting to see how Pant approaches the game after the exclusion from the World Cup squad on Monday.
Mumbai Indians have quality bowlers in Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga and spinner Krunal Pandya, the batting has also looked good with skipper Rohit Sharma showing sparks of his talent, Quinton de Kock rising to the challenges at the top and Hardik Pandya looking to finish well as he gears up for the role of finisher for India in the World Cup.
Delhi Capitals: Shreyas Iyer (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant (wk), Colin Ingram, Keemo Paul, Axar Patel, Rahul Tewatia, Kagiso Rabada, Trent Boult, Ishant Sharma, Colin Munro, Sandeep Lamichhane, Avesh Khan, Amit Mishra, Hanuma Vihari, Ankush Bains, Harshal Patel, Jalaj Saxena, Manjot Kalra, Sherfane Rutherford, Nathu Singh, Bandaru Ayyappa.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (capt), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Yuvraj Singh, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Ben Cutting, Mitchell McClenaghan, Rasikh Salam, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishan Kishan, Evin Lewis, Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Rahul Chahar, Mayank Markande, Barinder Sran, Jayant Yadav, Anukul Roy, Siddhesh Lad, Pankaj Jaiswal.
Match starts at 8 pm IST
(With IANS inputs)