Battle of Unequals: DC needs Shaw boost against formidable CSK

01:26 PM Mar 30, 2024 | PTI |

Delhi Capitals will be aiming to rejig their out-of-depth batting order by bringing the flamboyant Prithvi Shaw in the mix against the defending champions Chennai Super Kings in what could be safely termed as a ‘battle of unequals’ on Sunday’s Indian Premier League encounter.


In T20 format, reputations do go for a toss but DC in their last four meetings haven’t been able to get past CSK and the margins of defeat — 91, 27 and 77 runs respectively paints a sorry picture. One also needs to take into account that in those three heavy losses, the core of the Delhi team has been more or less same save their last meeting when Rishabh Pant wasn’t available. Hence a win against CSK would be considered as a big upset in the tournament.

If CSK once again looks like a team to beat with all its bases nicely covered, it has been quite the opposite for the Ricky Ponting coached Capitals, which has been outplayed in both departments of the game.

DC’s co-owners GMR and JSW have been completely messing up the team composition at the auction table itself for some years and there is hardly anything that Ponting or Director of Cricket Sourav Ganguly could do with domestic talent that lacks quality.

CSK got an uncapped Sameer Rizvi for 8.40 crore and the two sixes in his first IPL innings against Punjab Kings showed why the franchise was desperate to get him on board. Among all franchises, DC probably has had the weakest talent scout program and it is paying a huge price for poor recruitments.


The gulf between domestic cricket and IPL once again became evident with Ricky Bhui, the highest scorer in Ranji Trophy with 902 runs in the just concluded season.

That Bhui is out-of-depth at this level was cruelly exposed by young South African paceman Nandre Burger of Rajasthan Royals. The manner in which he set up with a fast full delivery to peg Bhui on the backfoot and then a well-directed bouncer that was aimed for his skull left the burly Andhra captain both scared and scarred.

Shaw, who made a comeback to competitive cricket during second half of Ranji Trophy, might not exactly conform to the fitness standards set by Ponting and his support staff but even the biggest ‘punter’ in the DC change room knows where to put his money if the choice is between Shaw and Bhui.

There is too much on the plate of David Warner, who is well past his prime and skipper Rishabh Pant, who will take some time to find his groove. Mitchell Marsh’s time with DC for the past two seasons can’t exactly be termed consistent and the presence of Shaw will indeed add some muscle to DC’s batting against an attack comprising Mustafizur Rahman, Deepak Chahar, Matheesha Pathirana and Ravindra Jadeja.

Add to it, Daryl Mitchell’s seam-up stuff and Rachin Ravindra, whose bowling potential hasn’t yet been unlocked by CSK’s ‘spiritual captain’ Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

If DC bring in Shaw, they can push Marsh as one down, which could lend a bit more solidity to the top-order but the real challenge will be facing the pace-off deliveries bowled by Mustafizur, who cleverly mixes his variety of cutters to make life miserable for the batters.

The problem with DC is lack of quality power hitters among domestic talents in case Pant fails to fire and also there isn’t much difference between Shai Hope and Tristan Stubbs, both of whom take time before going for the jugular.

Similarly DC’s death bowling is one of concern and save Axar Patel, whose economy rate is less than six in two games, none of the other bowlers have gone for anything less than 7.50 per over.

Anrich Nortje couldn’t hit the right length in the Royals game where DC lost it in the last five overs of their bowling innings. DC would need Ishant Sharma to come back as he could have some questions for Rachin Ravindra, who has started the tournament in imperious fashion.

Shivam Dube’s pyrotechnics will meet its match in Kuldeep Yadav’s guile and that will be one battle that cricket lovers would be waiting for.

Teams CSK: MS Dhoni (c), Moeen Ali, Deepak Chahar, Tushar Deshpande, Shivam Dube, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Ravindra Jadeja, Ajay Mandal, Mukesh Choudhary, Ajinkya Rahane, Shaik Rasheed, Mitchell Santner, Simarjeet Singh, Nishant Sindhu, Prashant Solanki, Maheesh Theekshana, Rachin Ravindra, Shardul Thakur, Daryl Mitchell, Sameer Rizvi, Mustafizur Rahman and Avanish Rao Aravelly.

Delhi Capitals: Rishabh Pant (c), David Warner, Prithvi Shaw, Yash Dhull, Abishek Porel, Axar Patel, Lalit Yadav, Mitchell Marsh, Pravin Dubey, Vicky Ostwal, Anrich Nortje, Kuldeep Yadav, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Khaleel Ahmed, Ishant Sharma, Mukesh Kumar, Tristan Stubbs, Ricky Bhui, Kumar Kushagra, Rasikh Dar, Jhye Richardson, Sumit Kumar, Swastik Chikara and Shai Hope.

Match Starts: 7:30 pm.


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