Eyeing maiden IPL glory, Shreyas Iyer-led Delhi Capitals (DC) are set to lock horns with defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) in the much-awaited finale of IPL 2020. Though Capitals are playing their first-ever IPL final, it will be foolish to write them off. Defying all odds, the Delhi side has the potential to etch an upset and clinch the IPL trophy for the first time.
However, it will be an easy task for DC, especially when they're battling a robust MI side. With their experience to play in IPL finals and an impressive head-to-head record, the Mumbai Paltan will have an upper edge in the summit clash. In all three encounters this season, MI have convincingly thumped DC. Ricky Ponting will have to come up with an effective solution to redeem themselves in the final.
Talking about DC's journey this season, they achieved a top-two finish by winning eight out of 14 games. Despite suffering four defeats on the trot, DC managed to seal the second position by defeating Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their last league-stage fixture.
DC's trail in this IPL edition started in a thrilling manner. In their very first game, Iyer' men were pushed into a Super Over against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Shrugging off pressure, Kagiso Rabada flaunted his brilliance as DC started off with a win under their belt. In their next game against MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Prithvi Shaw rose to the occasion and scored a half-century as DC registered consecutive wins.
Though DC's winning run was halted by SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) in their third game, they bounced back strongly by registering a hat-trick of victories, taking their points tally to 10 points. With five wins in seven games, DC already had consolidated their position in the upper half of the points table.
Their decent run continued as they registered two wins and two defeats in their next four games. This was the period when the world witnessed Shikhar Dhawan's stellar and consistent show with the bat. The left-hander scored two half-centuries, followed by two consecutive IPL hundreds, making him the first one to achieve this impressive feat.
Despite DC's five-wicket defeat against KXIP in their 10th game, Dhawan hogged the headlines for his successive ton. The KXIP drubbing led to Capitals' downfall as they further suffered a defeat of hat-tricks. Their inconsistent batting unit was the reason behind their torrid run. However, in their last league-stage fixture against Virat Kohli-led RCB, Capitals registered a comprehensive six-wicket victory to ensure a top-two finish. They finished with 16 points in the table, winning eight out of their 14 league-stage fixtures.
All eyes were on DC to outdo a dominant MI side in the first Qualifier. But to their disappointment, their batting unit failed to deliver yet again, succumbing to the blistering bowling show by Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult.
Coming back strongly in the Eliminator, a tweaked DC batting line-up, led by Marcus Stoinis and Dhawan at the top, edged past SRH to script history and book place in their first-ever IPL final. Their bowling, led by Kagiso Rabada's four-wicket haul, also was phenomenal. Despite being the underdogs, Capitals will be eyeing maiden silverware to etch their name on the coveted IPL trophy.
Here are the top performers for Delhi Capitals this season:
- Kagiso Rabada has been a beast for the Delhi side. In 16 games, he has scalped 29 wickets including 2 four-wicket hauls. Along with Rabada, DC also have the speed of Anrich Nortje, who has 20 wickets under his belt.
- The experience of Ravichandran Ashwin, especially in the powerplay, could prove vital in the tie. In 14 games, the off-spinner has taken 13 wickets at an economy of 7.72.
- Just 63 runs behind leading run-scorer KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan has scored majestic knocks this season, including two consecutive hundreds. The left-hander will be expected to step up in the final too.
- Along with Dhawan, captain Shreyas Iyer has also delivered a few impressive performances. In 16 games, he has scored 454 runs including two half-centuries. He'll be hoping to cross the 500-run mark in this vital tie.
- Marcus Stoinis has been impressive in both the departments. In 16 games, he has scored 352 runs along with taking 12 wickets.