Three defeats on the trot and Shreyas Iyer’s Delhi now suddenly find themselves walking on thin ice. With only two games to go, they need at least one win to qualify for the playoffs of this year’s Indian T20 League and judging by the line of fixtures that awaits, it certainly is going to be on arduous task, to say the least.

Up next for them is a stern test against Mumbai; a team that got the better of them by five wickets the last time these two met. The record Indian T20 League champions have got nothing to lose, having already qualified for the playoffs, but they will spare no expense in order to spoil one’s party. The two teams have always been on the neck of each other as their head-to-head count suggests (12 wins from 25 for Delhi and 13 for Mumbai), but on Saturday, Delhi will play for intent and expect nothing less than an exhilarating display. 

Having said that, here we look at some key stats that are certain to affect the course of the game:

Krunal keeping Delhi in check

Mumbai all-rounder Krunal Pandya has taken a mere five wickets in 12 games this season at an average of 55.60 and an economy rate of 7.51. The figures might very well not ooze any sort of confidence, but there certainly is another side to his bowling. Krunal has actively been used during the Powerplay overs this season as well and during this period, he has managed to keep things tight, bowling at an economy of 6.22; the best he has managed in his last three seasons.

The economy of 6.22 during the Powerplay overs is, in fact, the fourth-best amongst spinners who have bowled a minimum of 30 balls in this period this season. As far as Delhi are concerned, it is safe to say Krunal loves playing against them. He picked 2/26 in the reverse fixture this season, and his team would want more of the same from him on Saturday. Furthermore, his average and economy of 16.75 and 15.1 respectively against Delhi is the best among all the active teams. Here is the detailed breakdown:

Team Inns Runs Balls Wkts 4s 6s Avg Econ rate SR Balls/boundary
Chennai 7 164 138 7 10 8 23.42 7.13 19.7 7.66
Delhi 8 134 121 8 12 2 16.75 6.64 15.1 8.64
Punjab 9 226 162 4 15 7 56.5 8.37 40.5 7.36
Kolkata 10 199 175 6 16 6 33.16 6.82 29.2 7.95
Rajasthan 6 157 108 4 13 5 39.25 8.72 27 6
Bangalore 10 237 216 9 14 5 26.33 6.58 24 11.36
Hyderabad 7 107 96 3 4 2 35.66 6.68 32 16

Table: Krunal Pandya against active Indian T20 League teams.

And last, but not least, Krunal is just 14 runs away from scoring 1000 Indian T20 League runs. A whopping 23.83 % of his runs have come against Delhi (235/986).

Players to watch:

Delhi - Rishabh Pant

Rishabh Pant, who missed Delhi’s preview game against Mumbai this season, is yet to hit the ground running, having scored 253 runs at a strike rate of 115.00. This is the worst strike rate he has managed in any Indian T20 League season. In nine games so far, the 23-year-old has crossed the 30-run mark on just five occasions. A further bifurcation of his disappointing season reveals his struggle against spin bowling. Out of his eight dismissals so far, five have come against spin while three against pace.

Spin/Pace Runs Balls Dismissal Dots 4s 6s Avg SR Dot % Balls/dis Balls/boundary
Pace 161 114 3 41 19 5 53.66 141.22 35.96 38 4.95
Spin 92 106 5 43 6 2 18.4 86.79 40.56 21.2 13.25

Table: Rishabh Pant in Indian T20 League 2020.

And while he has managed to score runs against the pacers, he has particularly failed to do so against spin, striking at a lowly rate of 86.79 with a dot ball percentage of 40.56%. As he gears up to face Mumbai, expect him to put extra effort against pacers as his record against Jasprit Bumrah is truly underwhelming, having been dismissed four times against him.

Mumbai - Suryakumar Yadav

Suryakumar Yadav scored a quick-fire 32-ball 53 against Delhi last time out, and judging by the form he is enjoying at the moment, expect Delhi to be on their toes on Saturday. Since the 2018 edition of the Indian T20 League, Mumbai batsmen have aggregated 6844 runs and a whopping 1298 (19%) have been scored by Suryakumar Yadav; the biggest contribution by any other player from the team.

Most runs in Indian T20 League since 2018
Player Runs
KL Rahul 1847
Shikhar Dhawan 1489
Rishabh Pant 1425
Virat Kohli 1418
Suryakumar Yadav 1298

Accumulating 1298 runs means he is the fifth-highest run-scorer in the league since 2018 and is the only uncapped player in the list that has the likes of KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant and Virat Kohli. Mumbai play Delhi in Dubai, a venue where Suryakumar has duly struggled. In two games played at Dubai, the Mumbai batsman has scored two ducks, and will look get past the voodoo on Saturday.

Stats to watch out for:

200th: Mumbai will be playing their 200th Indian T20 League game, the first team to play 200 matches in the competition.

0: Mumbai are yet to win a match at Dubai in Indian T20 League, they have played 5 matches and have lost all 5.

1: Six Kishan needs to reach 100 T20 6s

11: Runs Pant needs to complete 2000 Indian T20 League runs, the third player to reach this landmark for Delhi in the competition.

3/4 : 3 times in 4 innings Quinton de Kock has been dismissed by R Ashwin in Indian T20 League.

Writer’s pick:

Mumbai are coming on the back of an inspiring victory over Rajasthan, while Delhi seems to have exhausted all of their confidence following their 88-run defeat against Hyderabad. On Saturday, we expect Mumbai to do a double over Delhi, given that their players have the momentum on their side and are enjoying a great run of form.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Sajjad Hussain