10th Match (N), Pune, April 02, 2022, Indian Premier League
(20 ov, T:172) 157/9

Titans won by 14 runs


Titans, Capitals look to build on winning start

Both top orders misfired in their opening game. Can they bounce back?

Axar Patel and Lalit Yadav celebrate after dragging Delhi Capitals to an unlikely win, Delhi Capitals vs Mumbai Indians, IPL 2022, Mumbai, March 27, 2022

Axar Patel and Lalit Yadav celebrate after dragging Delhi Capitals to an unlikely win  •  BCCI

Big picture

Near-close finishes, with middle order sealing the win for both these teams in their respective first matches of the season.
Things went mostly right for Gujarat Titans in their first-ever outing in the IPL, against Lucknow Super Giants. Firstly, Hardik Pandya called it right at the toss. They got danger man KL Rahul out for a first-ball duck. Mohammed Shami produced a brilliant opening spell, while Lockie Ferguson and Rashid Khan made sure to keep things tight in the eight overs they bowled.
In the chase, the middle order kept up with the pressure and finished things off with two balls to spare. Oh, and Hardik bowled his full quota seemingly without a hitch (we're not jinxing anything here). On the whole, Hardik & Co. should be content with the winning start but there were a few hiccups in their victory.
Varun Aaron went for 45 runs in his four overs although he picked up two wickets. There was a wobble at the top order with Shubman Gill departing for a duck and Vijay Shankar following him soon after. But the win means it is likely they will take a few more games to assess if they need to be making any big changes.
Capitals almost gave up in their opener against Mumbai Indians but Lalit Yadav and Axar Patel pulled off a coup by putting up 75 runs in 30 balls. Kuldeep Yadav found his form back by picking 3 for 18, while Shaw started off things well in the chase. In the bowling department, Shardul Thakur and Axar Patel were expensive on the day but Lungi Ngidi and Mustafizur Rahman's availability for this game will only boost them further.

In the news

Injured Australia allrounder Mitchell Marsh will join Capitals squad in India and "continue his recovery" from the low-grade hip flexor injury he sustained in Pakistan. David Warner will be available for Capitals from their third game - against Super Giants on April 7.

Possible XI

Gujarat Titans: 1 Shubman Gill, 2 Matthew Wade (wk), 3 Vijay Shankar, 4 Abhinav Manohar, 5 Hardik Pandya (capt), 6 David Miller, 7 Rahul Tewatia, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Varun Aaron, 10 Lockie Ferguson, 11 Mohammed Shami
Delhi Capitals: 1 Prithvi Shaw, 2 Tim Seifert, 3 Mandeep Singh, 4 Rishabh Pant (capt, wk), 5 Rovman Powell, 6 Lalit Yadav, 7 Axar Patel, 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Khaleel Ahmed, 11 Mustafizur Rahman/ Lungi Ngidi

Strategic punt

Hardik may want to hold his quicks back and bowl Rashid Khan when Rishabh Pant is at the crease. Pant has gotten out to him twice and has struck at just 110 against him, which is the second-worst for him against a bowler (minimum 30 balls faced) in T20s

Stats that matter

  • Mustafizur Rahman's death-overs economy rate of 8.1 is the best among bowlers in that phase in T20s since 2021
  • Hardik Pandya needs one more big hit to tally 100 sixes in the IPL
  • Axar Patel needs to hit nine more runs to tally 1000 runs in the IPL
  • Rashid needs to strike six more times to tally 100 wickets in the tournament
  • Sruthi Ravindranath is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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