IPL: Delhi take on Mumbai with eye on play-offs

Visakhapatnam, May 14 (IANS) Fresh from a comeback win over Sunrisers Hyderabad, a confident Delhi Daredevils will aim to seal their place in the play-offs when they take on an inconsistent Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) here on Sunday.

Being at third position with six wins from 10 matches, Delhi, with 12 points, will have one eye on toppling Hyderabad and Gujarat Lions (both at 14 points each), when they face fifth-placed Mumbai.

On the other hand, the defending champions with 12 points from as many matches, will need to pull off a win in their penultimate league match, if they are to stay in contention.

Going into Sunday’s clash at the VDCA Cricket Stadium, the Delhi side will look for a repeat of their brilliant show against Hyderabad. The Zaheer Khan-led team has been an improved side in this edition having approached each game with a horses for courses strategy.

In the batting department, the Rahul Dravid-mentored side will once again bank on a good start from openers Quinton de Kock and Rishabh Pant, with the likes of Sanju Samson, Karun Nair, Sam Billings, Carlos Brathwaite and Chris Morris adding firepower in the middle-order.

Leg-spinner Amit Mishra has been his impressive self as usual while pacers Zaheer and Mohammed Shami have also been amongst the wickets. Spinners Imran Tahir and Shahbaz Nadeem have also been impressive in the limited opportunities they got.

On the flip side, Mumbai, who have been over-dependent on skipper Rohit Sharma, will hope for a good start from the India opener along with Parthiv Patel. The opening partnership has been a headache for the side as the opening combo has repeatedly failed to provide a decent start.

In case the opening combo fails again, Ambati Rayudu, Nitish Rana, Keiron Pollard and Jos Buttler will have to shoulder the responsibility of the batting. Mumbai will also look for some improved all-round performance from the Pandya brothers — Krunal and Hardik.

The New Zealand duo of Mitchell McClenaghan and Tim Southee have led the pace attack well with Jasprit Bumrah while the Ricky Ponting-coached side will depend on an improved show from veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh to take on a confident young Delhi side.

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