Delhi lock horns with Punjab in the ‘Northern Derby’ of Indian T20 League 2021 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday, April 18.
Both the teams head into the derby after suffering defeats in their previous fixtures. While Delhi lost to Rajasthan in a low-scoring thriller, Punjab were thrashed by Chennai at the same venue.
The young two captains Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul will hope for an improved all-round display from their players on Sunday.
Delhi vs Punjab full squads
Delhi: Rishabh Pant (captain/wicket-keeper), Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Chris Woakes, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Lalit Yadav, Pravin Dubey, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Ishant Sharma, Avesh Khan, Steve Smith, Umesh Yadav, Ripal Patel, Vishnu Vinod (wicket-keeper), Lukman Meriwala, M Siddarth, Tom Curran, Sam Billings
Punjab: KL Rahul (captain/wicket-keeper), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Prabsimran Singh (wicket-keeper), Nicholas Pooran (wicket-keeper), Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Harpreet Brar, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Ishan Porel, Darshan Nalkande, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Jhye Richardson, Shahrukh Khan, Riley Meredith, Moises Henriques, Jalaj Saxena, Utkarsh Singh, Fabian Allen, Saurabh Kumar
Delhi vs Punjab probable XI
Rishabh Pant-led Delhi have received a massive boost as their star pacer Anrich Nortje has been declared fit for selection. Nortje, who landed on April 6 in Mumbai, had to spend an extended time in quarantine after a false positive test.
The 27-year-old South Africa pacer is expected to replace Tom Curran, who was taken to the cleaners by Rajasthan’s Chris Morris in the last match.
The Delhi franchise might also replace England pacer Chris Woakes with either Shimron Hetmyer or Steve Smith to add more stability to their middle order.
Delhi predicted XI: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Steve Smith/Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Lalit Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan
On the other hand, Punjab’s biggest concern would be the form of their opener Mayank Agarwal, who has failed in both the matches so far. However, he is expected to retain his place.
Additionally, Punjab’s new bowling recruits Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith have failed to make their mark in Indian T20 League 2021.
Punjab might add either Moises Henriques or Chris Jordan in place of Riley Meredith. The franchise is likely to swap leg-spinner Murugan Ashwin for 20-year-old Ravi Bishnoi in their playing XI.
Punjab predicted XI: KL Rahul (captain/wicket-keeper), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Moises Henriques/Chris Jordan, Jhye Richardson, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Ravi Bishnoi
Delhi vs Punjab head-to-head record in Indian T20 League
In the Delhi vs Punjab head-to-head record in the Indian T20 League, the latter holds a clear advantage as they have won 15 of the 26 matches played between these two sides.
|Delhi vs Punjab head-to-head record|
Furthermore, Punjab have won 46.15 percent of their games at the Wankhede Stadium, winning six of the 13 games. On the other hand, Delhi have won 36.36 percent of the matches at this venue, registering just four wins in 11 encounters.
Delhi vs Punjab: Match result prediction
While Punjab might have an advantage in the head-to-head record against Delhi, Rishabh Pant’s side will start as favourites against the Punjab franchise.
Delhi rued the presence of few crucial players in both games, but that won't be the case against Punjab, who also have one of the tournament’s most balanced squads.
Best performers in Delhi vs Punjab
Top Tip: Best Batsmen
Delhi will depend on their star opener Shikhar Dhawan to play another match-winning innings against Punjab on Sunday. The 35-year-old southpaw has amassed 733 runs in 24 matches against the Punjab franchise. He has hit one century and five fifties. Shikhar Dhawan is tipped to score the maximum runs for last year’s finalists in the tie.
In the case of Punjab, swashbuckling batsman Chris Gayle is the ideal candidate to be the leading run-scorer in the latest Delhi vs Punjab showdown. Gayle has scored 479 runs against Delhi in 15 matches at a staggering strike rate of 157.04. Considering his record, one should bet on Gayle as the top batsman in this fixture.
Top tip: Best bowlers
Delhi off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is tipped to be the game-changing bowler for his side against Punjab at the Wankhede on Sunday. Ashwin has an impressive record against Punjab, scalping 18 wickets in 17 innings at an economy of 7.25.
For Punjab, Mohammed Shami will spearhead the bowling attack against Delhi, and stats reveal that he has been their chief tormentor. Shami has claimed eight wickets in four innings at an economy of just 5.68. He is expected to spell trouble for Rishabh Pant and Co. and add to his tally of eight wickets.
Top tip: All-rounders and wicket-keepers
Delhi all-rounder Marcus Stoinis hasn’t had a defining performance in the ongoing edition of the Indian T20 League. However, he will certainly take inspiration from his last year’s performance, amassing 352 runs in 17 matches at a strike rate of 148.52. Stoinis had also scalped 13 wickets at an average of 21.76. He is well-placed to perform against Punjab on Sunday.
On the other hand, Punjab lacks top-quality all-rounders in their ranks. The team will hope Jhye Richardson can score a few runs at the lower order as he has hit three fifties in first-class cricket.
For the wicket-keeper position, Rishabh Pant will be the preferred choice over KL Rahul. Pant has taken 47 catches and completed 11 stumpings in the Indian T20 League history as opposed to KL Rahul’s 42 catches and five stumpings.
Featured photo: IPL/BCCI