It looks like the trend of winning the toss, batting first, and scoring heavy runs to rule the opposition out of the match is finally fading away. All the last four games have seen targets being set at somewhere between 150-170, and teams have managed to defend such modest totals on two occasions. Delhi must have been hoping for a similar result but that was not to be.
Batting first, Delhi were jolted by the initial shocks that they received in the form of Shaw and Rahane’s early departures. However, with veteran Dhawan on the other end, captain Shreyas Iyer stitched an 85-run partnership in a little more than 10 overs to keep Delhi’s hopes alive in the match.
Delhi would have possibly felt that they were about 20 runs short at the end of the inning. The first few overs might have given them some heart, wherein they managed to stem the flow of runs. But when a team has got top-order batsmen like Rohit Sharma and de Cock, followed by a middle-order lineup consisting of Pollard, Ishan Kishan, and Pandya brothers, it was only a matter of time before Mumbai Indians wrapped up the game.
It was a rare failure for Delhi Capitals, which has been in stupendous form throughout the season and has won back-to-back games. Backed by a perfect mix of experience and youth, Delhi has looked somewhat invincible this season and is the team to beat. Even in the previous game they didn’t look like a side that could be steamrolled. Delhi’s loss could have been a direct offshoot of the ouster of Rishabh Pant and Shimron Hetmyer, who have been the pillar of Delhi’s middle-order this season.
Despite their excellent game so far this season, Delhi’s woes at the top of the order can’t be overlooked. Dhawan has looked mediocre at the opening slot and the team management could consider promoting either Pant to the top of the batting order in Dhawan’s place at some point in the tournament. Dhawan’s below-average strike rate is what mainly weighs against his selection in the team.
With Pant opening the inning with Prithvi Shaw, Delhi could have the most formidable middle order in the tournament in the form of Iyer, Hetmyer, and Stoinis.