IPL 2019, MI vs DC: Top 5 player battles to watch out for

Updated on Mar 24, 2019 01:02 PM IST

Here’s a look at the top five player battles to watch out for in Sunday’s Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Capitals clash

Jasprit Bumrah goes through the paces.(mipaltan/Twitter)
Jasprit Bumrah goes through the paces.(mipaltan/Twitter)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals begin their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 campaign with their match at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday.

The two sides endured poor campaigns last term. While three-time champions Mumbai Indians failed to progress to the playoff stage after finishing fifth, the Delhi franchise—then known as Delhi Daredevils—were rock-bottom after losing nine of their 14 matches.

Since the inception of the IPL in 2008, Mumbai Indians have gone on to become a force to be reckoned with as their three titles—joint-best with Chennai Super Kings—suggests, but the Delhi outfit has never even reached a final in their history.

Whether re-branding changes their luck only time will tell and Sunday’s encounter will give a good picture of where the two teams stand this season.

Here’s a look at the top five player battles to watch out for in this IPL clash.

Also read: IPL 2019, KKR vs SRH: Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Predicted XI against Kolkata Knight Riders

Rohit Sharma vs Amit Mishra

The Mumbai Indians skipper has been one of the most successful batsmen against Delhi Capitals, having amassed 701 runs in 23 innings against the side. If Sharma goes past 60 on Sunday, he will become the most successful batsman against Delhi, overtaking Virat Kohli. However, he will have to navigate the guile of Mishra first. The spinner has kept Sharma on a tight leash only conceding 80 runs from the 84 balls he has bowled to the Mumbai opener and has dismissed him on five occasions. He will be eager for another happy outing at the Wankhede.

Shikhar Dhawan vs Mitchell McClenaghan

Dhawan is second only to West Indies’ Chris Gayle in the list of most runs as an opener in the IPL. The India opener has amassed 3667 runs from 125 innings with a healthy average of 35.6. But his ability to improve his record on Sunday will depend on the way he faces up to McClenaghan. The Kiwi pacer has dismissed Dhawan on three occasions in the past IPLs and will be eager to increase that tally.

Rishabh Pant vs Jasprit Bumrah

Pant has earned plaudits off late for his batting in Test cricket, however, he hasn’t quite replicated the same form in the shorter formats of the game. As his place in Indian side has come under question after a series of gaffes behind the stumps and poor batting, this IPL will be a good chance for him to prove his worth as Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s deputy in Kohli’s World Cup squad. But first up, he has a massive hurdle to overcome against Bumrah. The premier Indian bowler enjoys an outstanding record against Pant, having conceded only 8 runs from 17 balls and dismissed him three times.

Also read: IPL 2019, CSK vs RCB - Turning Point: Dhoni bowls Harbhajan out in the first eight overs

Kieron Pollard vs Trent Boult

The West Indies power hitter enjoys an outstanding strike rate of 145.73 from his 132 IPL outings since 2010. But it drops down sharply against Boult. The Kiwi paceman has restricted Pollard to 15 runs off 14 balls for a strike rate of 107.14 and has scalped him once. It promises to be a fascinating battle between the two at the Wankhede.

Shreyas Iyer vs Hardik Pandya

Iyer is one the few batsmen to enjoy a phenomenal record against India’s ace bowler Bumrah. The Delhi Capitals skipper has smashed 28 runs off just 15 balls and has never lost his wicket to the pacer. He has also taken McClenaghan to the cleaners, taking 54 runs from 38 balls of the Kiwi. However, he tends to struggle against Pandya. The all-rounder has given just eight runs from 11 balls and dismissed Iyer once. The Sunday clash will add another chapter to their battle.

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