Delhi Capitals host Mumbai Indians at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Thursday in their ninth match of the Indian Premier League 2019. The Capitals, who sit second on the points table with 10 points after eight matches, take on Mumbai in a highly anticipated contest. After three back-to-back away wins against RCB, KKR and SRH, Delhi Capitals will take on third-placed Mumbai Indians. The two teams have faced each other on 23 previous occasions which has seen Delhi win 12 matches, while Mumbai have managed to be on the winning side 11 times.
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) 16 April 2019
The two teams faced each other in their respective opening matches of the campaign on at the Wankhede Stadium, which ended in a 37-run victory for Delhi. Delhi Capitals’ Head Coach Ricky Ponting accessed the Kotla pitch and said, “It shouldn’t be a difficult pitch for us anymore, it will be difficult for Mumbai to come and play on this surface. We have a pretty clear understanding as to how this wicket is going to play. We expect it to be pretty slow and low, and it might turn as well so we are going to be very well prepared. The pitch for the last match probably caught us a little bit off-guard. We expected it to be a bit better but at the end of the day, the wicket is what it is, and both the teams are going to play on it.”
Delhi Capitals’ wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant was not included in the 15-man Indian squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, and Ponting was asked to give his take on the situation. “I had a quick chat with him (Pant) on Monday night, and he seems to have taken it quite well. He is obviously disappointed as he would have loved to be in the squad as a lot of other players would have as well. But the thing with him that he has to remember and we all have to remember is that he is still pretty young. He will have the opportunity to potentially play in three or four more World Cups over the course of his career.”
The 44-year-old also spoke about his team’s position on the points table and what the three wins have done to the confidence of his players. “We are well placed in the table at the moment, but you can’t take anything for granted in the IPL. We have won three games in a row but we know that we will need at least 8 wins to qualify for the playoffs. That has been our focus all the way through till date, but I think the last three games, the boys have taken a lot of confidence. Especially the last game against SRH, we didn’t bat as well as we would have liked, but the determination and the focus on the field was great to see, and I could see that winning that match on the road meant everything to this group of players,” he said.
🧐 Close analysis of training = Better performance on the pitch 🤩
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) 17 April 2019
Looking ahead to the match against MI, Ricky said, “It will be a new challenge tomorrow, Mumbai are playing some great cricket. But we are back home, we want to play some good cricket as well, as we haven’t really done that so far apart from that heart-stopping win against KKR here. However, we just want to make sure that we become a really hard team to beat here, we have four home matches to go, and we will look to win all of those to get close to the play-offs, but the main focus is on tomorrow’s match.”
Like Capitals, Mumbai Indians are also getting better with each game and look a more potent outfit with the return of Lasith Malinga. All-rounder Hardik Pandya is also firing on all cylinders. Pandya, who smashed an unbeaten 37 off 16 balls in Bangalore on Thursday, has spoken about how time away from the game is helping him at the moment.
The corresponding fixture last season saw Delhi beat MI by 11 runs. Batting first, Delhi put on a winning score of 174/4 as Rishabh Pant (64 off 44) and Vijay Shankar (43* off 30) top-scored for the hosts. Whereas, in reply, MI could only manage 163 runs as they were all-out in 19.3 overs. Amit Mishra (3-19), Harshal Patel (3-28) and Sandeep Lamichhane (3-36) shone with the ball to give Delhi a victory in their last league match of the tournament.
Pitch Report: The Kotla surface has faced a lot of flak for its slow and sluggish nature. This is expected to continue on Thursday when the two teams face off. Spin will play a major part and a score of anything between 150- 160 should be a winning one.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma, Jason Behrendorff, Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar, Ben Cutting, Pankaj Jaiswal, Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Siddhesh Lad, Evin Lewis, Lasith Malinga, Mayank Markande, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Anukul Roy, Rasikh Salam, Yuvraj Singh, Anmolpreet Singh, Barinder Sran, Aditya Tare, Suryakumar Yadav, Jayant Yadav and Quinton de Kock (wicket-keeper)
Delhi Capitals: Colin Ingram, Manjot Karla, Prithvi Shaw, Sherfane Rutherford, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Bandaru Ayyappa, Harshal Patel, Ishant Sharma, Kasigo Rabada, Nathu Singh, Sandeep Lamichhane, Trent Boult, Axar Patel, Chris Morris, Colin Munro, Hanuma Vihari, Jalaj Saxena, Keemo Paul, Rahul Tewatia, Ankush Bains and Rishabh Pant.