Sunrisers and Warner look to put early-season struggles behind them against high-flying Capitals
With Iyer back, the Capitals should be able to unleash Nortje alongside Rabada once more
Marcus Stoinis: 'Over the next three years I want to be the best finisher in the world'
IPL 2021: Rishabh Pant to continue as Delhi Capitals captain
Delhi Capitals bring in Ben Dwarshuis as replacement for Chris Woakes
Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes, Dawid Malan join Jos Buttler in pulling out of IPL
Shreyas Iyer rejoins Delhi Capitals camp after recovering from shoulder injury
In the news
- With Bairstow absent, the Sunrisers will need to find an opening partner for David Warner. While Wriddhiman Saha has often filled in and done an excellent job, another option could be to use Manish Pandey there. While Pandey's overall strike rate in the IPL since 2019 is a modest 127.92, he has enjoyed batting in the powerplay, where he's scored his runs at 149.30 - the highest strike rate of all batters in the IPL to have batted at least 20 times in the powerplay since 2019. And he's scored at that rate while only being dismissed twice in 215 balls.
- With Iyer returning to their line-up, the Capitals might be tempted to play the extra fast bowler in Anrich Nortje, who teamed up so well with Kagiso Rabada during their run to the final last season in the UAE. This would mean leaving out one of their overseas batters, most likely Steven Smith, who bats in Iyer's usual position at No. 3, and who didn't enjoy the greatest of runs during the first half of the season: 104 runs in six innings at a strike rate of 111.82. This would mean the Capitals retain their lower-middle-order hitting pair of Marcus Stoinis and Shimron Hetmyer, with the latter having enjoyed a tremendous run during the first half of the season, clattering 84 runs off just 41 balls while being dismissed only once in six innings.
Stats that matter
- Until the end of the 2019 season, Rishabh Pant had a strike rate of 162.69 in the IPL. Since the start of the 2020 season, however, that figure has plummeted to 120.08, the second-lowest strike rate of all batters who have scored at least 300 runs in this period, behind Shubman Gill. Pant's rate of hitting sixes - one every 35.6 balls - is the second-lowest among these batters, behind Virat Kohli.
- Bhuvneshwar Kumar's economy rate for an IPL season had never crossed 8, until this season. During the first leg in India, he went at 9.10 per over, while only picking up three wickets in five games. With the T20 World Cup around the corner, he'll hope he can turn his form around quickly.
- R Ashwin needs one wicket to become the third Indian bowler to bag 250 in T20 cricket, after Piyush Chawla and Amit Mishra, who both have 262 each.
Sruthi Ravindranath is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo