The final match of the IPL 2020 tournament between the blockbuster teams, Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals, could all be about match-ups. Here, we take a look at a key game plan that could play a role in the final game of IPL 2020 – MI vs DC.
In three matches against Mumbai Indians this season, Delhi Capitals have crossed 150 just once. The Capitals batting line-up has failed to deliver the goods against the best bowling attack in the competition.
IPL 2020 final: MI vs DC – Can Delhi’s batting step up?
Among the six DC batsmen who have batted at least twice in the top-7 against MI this season, only Marcus Stoinis has a strike rate of 140+, and Shreyas Iyer & Stoinis are the only ones to have a run-per-innings ratio of over 25.
IPL 2020 Final: MI vs DC – SHOULD MARCUS STOINIS CONTINUE OPENING?
After the auctions for IPL 2020, Delhi had enough openers: Dhawan, Shaw, Roy, Rahane; and even Stoinis, Iyer and Pant could open. Now, at the end of the league, they are struggling to find a suitable partner for Dhawan. They moved Stoinis to open the innings in the last match and found some success.
The general argument is that Stoinis is an opener in this format. However, while opening the innings in the Big Bash League since 2018, his strike rate hasn’t been over 130 in the powerplay in any edition. In each edition, his dot-ball percentage was more than 40 and, on average, he took more than five balls to hit a boundary in the powerplay.
However, the other case is that Stoinis has worked on his intent as well as his skills. Since the move paid off in the last match, DC are unlikely to tinker with it now. However, Stoinis is still susceptible to spin which won’t help him post-powerplay. Apart from Stoinis, DC don’t have a pace power-hitter in their batting line-up too. Rishabh Pant can do the job, but he is out of touch.
It also affects the value of Ajinkya Rahane in the team. Rahane played 12 innings in the powerplay last season, and in the second half, he averaged 51 and scored at 151.5 strike rate in the powerplay.
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MI’s pace bowling in the powerplay this season is top-class. Trent Boult has been moving the ball while Bumrah has been producing his best season performance in the powerplay this IPL. In three games against MI this season, DC lost two wickets in two games and four wickets in the qualifier. Also, their highest score – 46 – was the only instance when they scored 35+.
Rahane is better equipped to handle the new-ball from the quality pacers. Whether Rahane should be in DC’s XI or not, is a different topic of debate. But, if he is, he should be told to utilise/lessen the damage Boult and Bumrah can cause in the powerplay. DC need to give him clear instructions which is an absolute must. He can’t afford to slow down (unless there is collapse) as he is not a power-hitter of spin bowling or someone who can smash pacers in the death.
IPL 2020 Final: MI vs DC – HIT MUMBAI’S SPINNERS BETTER
As the above chart tells, DC batsmen have been comfortable against the MI spinners, however, they haven’t scored quick enough. On paper, Delhi have the best resources in the league to hit MI spinners. MI have Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar which favour the left-handed batsmen. DC have three southpaws: Dhawan, Pant and Hetmyer. Add to that, Iyer is a decent player of spin.
Dhawan’s approach, this season, has been lovely and he should continue that against MI spinners. However, he hasn’t been great against leg-spin deliveries. It could be a factor because of his limited range against spin bowling.
Pant isn’t in very good touch. However, DC haven’t been really shrewd regarding the usage of Shimron Hetmyer. DC could promote Hetmyer to take on the spinners in the middle-overs. If MI stick with their main XI, the LHB-RHB combo shouldn’t matter. Hetmyer is an excellent power-hitter of spin bowling and DC should utilise him to the fullest.
From Mumbai’s point of view, Chahar might be better off bowl googlies against Dhawan Pant, Hetmyer and Stoinis while leg-spin deliveries should work against Iyer. Iyer, this season, has been great against googlies but not while facing leg-spin. This could be a reason for him always expecting googlies from leg-spinners as Sanjay Bangar told in the Dugout.
Krunal, who mostly bowls against RHBs, could try and bowl ‘arm balls’ against Iyer and Stoinis to restrict room.
If the bowling attack of DC performs up to the potential, they can restrict MI from achieving a big total. However, their batting is the main concern, especially the form of Pant, their best batsman. Bumrah is in excellent form and DC don’t have a batsman who can be relied on to take on Bumrah. So, they should play safe against him, except maybe for the last two overs in the death. They also need to be cautious against Boult with the new ball as any damage upfront empowers each over Bumrah bowls after that.
If DC hopes to have a chance to win the title this year, their batting needs to step up!
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