Coming on the back of their first defeat of the 2021 Indian T20 League season, Virat Kohli’s Team Bangalore now take on Team Delhi on Tuesday, April 27 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Bangalore’s four-game unbeaten run was finally put to close by a stern Chennai team on Sunday and Rishabh Pant’s men will be hoping for more of the same. Like Bangalore, Delhi, too, have won just one game this season and are fresh off an exciting Super Over win over Hyderabad.
Delhi vs Bangalore probable playing XI
Delhi are set to miss the services of their star spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who has decided to take a break from the Indian T20 League to be with his family amidst these taxing times. This means Lalit Yadav might get back into the team.
Bangalore, on the other hand, will once again rely on the likes of Kohli, Devdutt Padikkal, Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers to score runs. Like Delhi, Bangalore, too, have a couple of players in Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson who have decided to pull out of the tournament.
Delhi predicted XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Steve Smith, Rishabh Pant (captain/wicket-keeper), Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Lalit Yadav, Kagiso Rabada, Avesh Khan
Bangalore predicted XI: Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli (captain), AB de Villiers (wicket-keeper), Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Christian, Kyle Jamieson, Washington Sundar, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammad Siraj, Navdeep Saini
Delhi vs Bangalore prediction: Who will win?
Delhi vs Bangalore is certain to make up for an exciting watch. While Bangalore have dominated the head-to-head count with 14 wins in 25 matches, the fact remains that Delhi are currently unbeaten against Virat Kohli and Co. in their last four encounters. Bangalore’s last win over Delhi dates back to March 19, 2018, when Harshal Patel, this year’s top wicket-taker, was in fact playing for Delhi.
The pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium is expected to provide more assistance to spinners than the fast bowlers, meaning that Delhi will look to use both Axar Patel and Amit Mishra to full use. If the duo manages to spin their magic, Delhi will have a much better chance of winning.
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Top Tip: Best Batsmen
Both the Delhi’s openers - Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan - have had a brilliant start this season, but it is the latter who will be under the spotlight against Bangalore. The left-handed batsman has scored 566 runs against Kohli’s team and this has come at an average of 33.29.
Now, Kohli might not have performed at his usual level so far, but Delhi have always been his favourite team to play against. The skipper is just three runs away from completing 900 runs against Delhi. So far, he has hit the 2020 finalist at an average and strike rate of 59.80 and 136.52 respectively.
Top Tip: Best Bowlers
Both Axar Patel and Amit Mishra have picked 15 wickets against Bangalore, but the former has done so at an economy of 6.76 and has taken two innings fewer. The spinner has already made his mark in the league, picking two wickets in his first game of the season and one can safely put their money on him to repeat the feat.
Like Delhi, Bangalore, too, will be reliant on Yuzvendra Chahal who has their best bowler against their Tuesday’s opponent. The leg-spinner has scalped 14 wickets in 13 innings against Delhi and has managed to keep his economy just over eight.
Top Tips: All-rounder and wicket-keeper
There are a couple of options to choose from as far as all-rounders are concerned, but the safest bet remains Delhi’s Marcus Stoinis. His ability to score quick-fire knocks and managing to keep his economy under control is rightly expected to bring you goods.
Choosing between Rishabh Pant and AB de Villiers can be difficult, but judging by the recent form, the clear answer is the Bangalore keeper. What makes him superior to Pant is his wealth of experience and of course the current form.
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Featured photo: AFP / Sajjad Hussain