They emerged victorious in the newcomers battle but it will be a whole different ball game for the Gujarat Titans when they lock horns with the Delhi Capitals in the IPL here on Saturday.
Both Gujarat and DC started their campaign in the lucrative 15th edition of the league with wins and they would look to continue in the same vein at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
Injury-plagued DC will still gain strength in bowling and batting, with the likely inclusion of Lungi Ngidi, Mustafizur Rahman and Sarfaraz Khan, who have completed their three-day quarantine.
The return of the trio will strengthen the Delhi team against an opponent who has given enough indications of his ability to not only compete with the best but also achieve the result he wants. In their five-wicket defeat, KL Rahul’s Lucknow Super Giants learned what the Titans were capable of.
So regardless of the four-wicket win over the five-time champions Mumbai Indians in their tournament opener, DC knows all too well they simply cannot afford to take their foot off the pedal. .
The victory against LSG in the first place is certainly a huge confidence booster, but in the Delhi Capitals, the Titans face more seasoned opponents, who have established themselves as one of the best teams in recent years, with their goalkeeper of hitter Rishabh Pant as a leader. on the pitch and Australian legend Ricky Ponting guiding them from behind the scenes.
With a strong, high-level batting, in addition to a well-rounded bowling unit, the Capitals have all the tools necessary to embark on a winning run early in the competition, so they certainly start as favorites against the Titans.
Furthermore, the fact that DC managed to overcome the Mumbai challenge without a few key players, including the flamboyant Australian all-rounder David Warner and Mitchell Marsh and the South African duo of Ngidi and Anrich Nortje, only adds to their confidence. and makes victory more commendable. .
While DC is going to bolster its in-game XI with some useful additions, the Titans, on the other hand, might not like tinkering with the combination that gave them their first win in their very first appearance.
Australian rookie Matthew Wade, who was tasked with opening batting alongside Shubman Gill, is eyeing a big one after failing to convert his 30 in the previous game into a more substantial contribution.
In the absence of their best point guards, Delhi’s bowling left a lot to be desired in the opener and they will be looking to do much better against Gujarat. Nortje hasn’t played a competitive game since last year’s T20 World Cup due to injury. The top fast bowler, who missed the entire summer international at home for the Proteas, has been cleared to join the Capitals roster for rehabilitation, but no timeline has been set for his recovery and return.
Delhi Capitals: Rishabh Pant (Captain), Axar Patel, Prithvi Shaw, Anrich Nortje, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Shardul Thakur, Mustafizur Rahman, Kuldeep Yadav, Ashwin Hebbar, Abhishek Sharma, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, KS Bharat, Mandeep Singh, Khaleel Ahmed, Chetan Sakariya, Lalit Yadav, Ripal Patel, Yash Dhull, Rovman Powell, Pravin Dubey, Lungi Ngidi, Vicky Ostwal, Sarfaraz Khan.
Gujarat Titans: Hardik Pandya (Captain), Rashid Khan, Shubman Gill, Mohammed Shami, Lockie Ferguson, Abhinav Sadarangani, Rahul Tewatia, Noor Ahmed, Sai Kishore, Vijay Shankar, Jayant Yadav, Dominic Drakes, Darshan Nalkande, Yash Dayal, Alzarri Joseph, Pradeep Sangwan, David Miller, Wriddhiman Saha, Matthew Wade, Varun Aaron, B Sai Sudharshan.