DELHI CAPITALS: Rishabh Pant’s table tops are on a roll with 6 wins in 8 games. They only need two more wins to make the playoffs. The powerful opening pair of Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan and the return of Shreyas Iyer in the middle will bolster the hitting. Can their spinners Ashwin and Axar continue to shine in the UAE? Faster men need to roll up their socks.
Extract: Chris wake up
Down / Injured: M Siddharth, Aniruddha Joshi
Replacements: Ben Dwarshuis, Kulwant Khejroliya, Shreyas Iyer
SUPER KINGS OF CHENNAI:MS DhoniMen are second at the table. If his first-leg form is something to go through, a playoff spot shouldn’t be difficult. A healthy NRR (+1.26) should come in handy if the going gets a little rough. CSK have had a good preparation before the tournament, with most of their players meeting in Dubai a month before the second phase. Sam Curran will sit out of the first game while in quarantine. There is a question mark on the aptitude of Faf du Plessis and Dwayne Bravo, who have joined after finishing the CPL commitments.
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE:virat KohliThe boys began their campaign with a major win over the defending champions IM in the first game, and it has gone down to one of their best seasons. RCB has won 5 of 7 matches, with the 2 losses being against CSK and PBKS. Halfway through, they are 3rd with 10 points. In addition to the lead man AB de Villiers, there have also been consistent contributions from Glenn Maxwell and Devdutt Padikkal. An opportunity for Kohli to find some way.
Extractions: Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson, Finn Allen, Daniel Sams, Washington Sundar
Replacements: Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmanta Chameera, Tim David, George Garton, Akash Deep
MUMBAI INDIANS:Rohit sharmaThe Invincibles are set to relaunch their bid for a third straight title and a sixth overall IPL title. That they are playing on the real grounds of the United Arab Emirates, where they claimed their fifth title last year, is an advantage. They are 4th in the table with 8 points after seven games. MI seems to be gaining momentum after a typically slow start. Their hitters fought in the slow wickets of Chennai, but once they moved into Delhi, the big guns rumbled. Watch out for Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya’s hitting form.
Down / Injured: Mohsin khan
Replacement: Roosh kalaria
RAJASTHAN ROYALS: The absence of Archer and Stokes was an early setback for a team that relies heavily on a few foreign stars, and Buttler’s retirement is one more blow. He is fifth in the table with 6 points (3 wins and 4 losses). Bowling is also heavily reliant on buying star Chris Morris, who is the second biggest player so far. Now all eyes are on big hitters Liam Livingstone and Evin Lewis. Keep an eye out for the top-ranked T20I bowler, Tabraiz Shamsi.
Extractions: Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Andrew Tye
Replacements: Glenn Phillips, Evin Lewis, Oshane Thomas, and Tabraiz Shamsi
KINGS OF PUNJAB: Punjab has its back to the wall, placing sixth out of 8 teams. His temper under pressure is under the scanner. The team led by KL Rahul has achieved just three victories in the previous game, and will need to win at least five of its six remaining games to remain in contention for a playoff spot. Once again, the onus falls on Rahul, Agarwal, and Shami to comply.
Extractions: Dawid Malan, Riley Meredith and Jhye Richardson
Replacements: Aiden Markram, Nathan Ellis, Adil Rashid
KOLKATA KNGHT RIDERS: Everything but out of contention, as they need to win almost all of the remaining seven games. Languishing in 7th position with 4 points from seven games with just two wins. The higher order has not exploded and the middle order has been fragile. KKR hopes that Andre Russell and Captain Morgan will come to the party with the bat. Bowlers have also been mediocre and have struggled to break associations.
Extract: Pat cummins
Replacement: Tim southee
SUNRISERS HYDERABAD: Nothing has gone well for them in the first half of the season. Just 2 points from seven starts means they are in the rear, a pitiful situation for a team loaded with potential match winners. David Warner’s poor bat form meant he was forced to hand over the captaincy to Williamson midseason. The middle order suspect needs to shoot too, especially Manish Pandey. Bhuvneshwar Kumar leads an attack that relies heavily on Rashid Khan to deliver in every game.
Extract: Jonny bairstow
Replacement: Sherfane Rutherford