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  5. IPL 2021 | Punjab Kings vs Delhi Capitals statistical preview

IPL 2021 | Punjab Kings vs Delhi Capitals statistical preview

An imperious 92 from Shikhar Dhawan had upstaged Mayank Agarwal's aggressive 69 and KL Rahul's sluggish 61 at the Wankhede Stadium last month as Delhi had defeated Punjab by 6 wickets.

India TV Sports Desk Written by: India TV Sports Desk New Delhi Updated on: May 02, 2021 13:16 IST
Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw
Image Source : IPLT20.COM

Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw

Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kinsg will be the first teams to compete against each other for the second time in the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League, both happening withing the first month of the tournament. An imperious 92 from Shikhar Dhawan had upstaged Mayank Agarwal's aggressive 69 and KL Rahul's sluggish 61 at the Wankhede Stadium last month as Delhi had defeated Punjab by 6 wickets. 

Since then, Delhi have gone on beat the defending champions avenging their finale defeat last season, survived a Super Over scare before beating Kolkata Knight Riders. Their only blip have been their narrow 1-run defeat to Royal Challengers Bangalore. Nevertheless, the Capitals have a chance to go atop for the first time in IPL 2021 with a double against Punjab. 

The Kings, on the other hand, have lost as many as they have won in their four games since the Delhi game, although the wins against Mumbai Indians and RCB will inspire them to stage a fightback against Rishabh Pant's men. 

Head-to-head tie: In the last two seasons, Delhi and Punjab have shared the wins in their two ties. Will the story remain the same in IPL 2021? Overall, Punjab have had the edge in all 27 IPL meetings with a 15-12 lead. While the two haven't faced each other at the Narendra Modi Stadium, they have suffered a similar fate at the venue in IPL. Delhi have lost two and won as many in four IPL games, and one of each has happened this season. So has Punjab in IPL 2021, although, they had won their first appearance at the venue back in IPL 2015. 

Tactics and match-ups:

1. Will the Harpreet Brar strategy continue? Delhi Capitals have as many as five left-handed batting options with Axar Patel batting lower down, hence a slow left-arm orthodox may not be quite an option. Punjab had deployed Jalaj Saxena, right-arm off-break bowler, to get the task down. In 13 balls against the lefties, Saxena had conceded 20 runs without a dismissal, although showing good control. Punjab can also rely on the young Ravi Bishnoi, who has been phenomenal so far. Last season, Bishnoi had conceded at 6.57 runs per over against Delhi and at 7.35 against their lefties, including the prized wicket of Pant, who only managed a run-a-ball 20. 

2. In seven innings, Nicholas Pooran has scored 28 runs in 33 balls this season with as many as four ducks. Punjab might want to move on from Pooran and play the No.1 T20I batsman Dawid Malan against Delhi, also a left-handed batsman. This will allow them to push Chris Gayle back to his old spot under the circumstance that Mayank Agarwal continues to recover from his injury. Since 2019, Gayle has had a PowerPlay strike rate of 143.9 and the left-right combination will serve as an advantage for Punjab. Malan can be given the No.3 slot and a domestic talent in Mandeep Singh or Sarfaraz Khan can be slotted in the middle order. 

3. KL Rahul has maintained his scoring consistency this season with 331 runs in 243 balls at a strike rate of 136.2. Despite a go-slow start in the PowerPlay, where he scores at less than run-a-ball rate, Rahul's scoring rate spikes to 148 in the middle overs. In a bid to contain the Punjab skipper, Axar Patel and Lalit Yadav can be deployed as Rahul has shown signs of vulnerability against the two varieties of of-spin. His strike rate falls to 108.3 against SLA and 103.3 against right-arm off-break, although with no dismissals. 

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