Mohammad Kaif, Delhi Capitals (DC) fielding coach has hinted at fielding a three-pronged spin attack for the game against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Sunday.
Left-arm orthodox spinner Axar Patel has joined the squad after successfully recovering from Covid-19 and will complete an already formidable lineup including leg-spinner Amit Mishra and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
Mohammad Kaif: Axar Patel Is A Key Member Of The Delhi Capitals Squad
In a video uploaded by the Delhi Capitals franchise on Sunday, Mohammad Kaif praised Axar Patel for playing a key role in the side’s success last season when the side was runners-up. He added that the spin-troika playing together in Chennai would be a ‘dream’ bowling attack. Axar Patel picked 9 scalps in 15 games while Ravichandran Ashwin picked 13 in as many games and Amit Mishra picked 3 in 3 games before suffering an injury in IPL 2020.
“He’s been a key member [of the squad]. Last year, when we reached the finals Axar played a major role. He batted at No. 7, won the game against CSK at Sharjah. He was bowling beautifully, I think. Axar, [Amit] Mishra and [Ravichandran] Ashwin playing together is going to be a dream spin-bowling attack,” said Mohammad Kaif.
Mohammad Kaif picked SRH’s premier leg-spinner, Rashid Khan, as the key adversary as he has been economical and picked crucial scalps in the last few seasons. The fielding coach, however, also showed confidence in DC’s bowlers, pointing to spinner Amit Mishra and all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, who were instrumental in the team’s win against the Mumbai Indians.
“Definitely! How we play Rashid Khan is going to be key on this pitch. And we have the bowlers who can defend the target. We have Amit Mishra who was the man of the match in the last game. He bowled beautifully.
“We have got the fast bowlers as well. The way [Marcus] Stoinis bowled in the last game with the new ball… was a crucial factor,” added Mohammad Kaif.
Mohammad Kaif: Delhi Has An Experienced Batting Lineup Compared To SRH
Mohammad Kaif also compared both teams’ batting lineups. He stated that DC’s batters are more experienced and the presence of in-form Shikhar Dhawan and Steve Smith gives them an edge. Mohammad Kaif also lauded new skipper Rishabh Pant for his poised leadership in difficult conditions.
“I think it’s going to be a good game because they won the last game, SRH. We have played 4, won 3, so we have also got the momentum going. I think batting has been tough on this pitch. Hopefully, we have an experienced lineup compared to SRH. We have Shikhar [Dhawan], he has been batting really well.
“We have Smithy [Steve Smith] who played well in the last game. I think these are bowling-friendly conditions and batting is going to be a bit harder which all the teams have found out… And the way Rishabh [Pant] has been captaining on a slow and turning pitch, he looked in control. That’s a great sign,” signed off Mohammad Kaif.
Shikhar Dhawan is the leading run-scorer in IPL 2021 with 231 runs in 4 games averaging 57.75 while Prithvi Shaw has scored 113 runs averaging 28.25. Steve Smith has scored 42 runs in 2 games. Rishabh Pant has amassed 88 runs while newcomer Lalit Yadav has contributed with 54 runs.
Marcus Stoinis has managed 41 runs. Among bowlers, Avesh Khan has picked 8 scalps while Chris Woakes has picked 5 scalps. Amit Mishra has picked 4 scalps in only 2 appearances while pacer Kagiso Rabada has 4 scalps in 3 games.
Delhi Capitals’ batting unit clicked against CSK where the team successfully chased 189 while they lost to Rajasthan Royals. They beat Punjab Kings chasing 196 as Shikhar Dhawan scored 92 while they beat Mumbai Indians where Amit Mishra picked 4 scalps.
Delhi Capitals Predicted Playing XI 1) Shikhar Dhawan 2) Prithvi Shaw 3) Steven Smith 4) Rishabh Pant (C & WK) 5) Marcus Stoinis 6) Lalit Yadav/ Axar Patel 7) Chris Woakes 8) R Ashwin 9) Kagiso Rabada 10) Avesh Khan/ Ishant Sharma 11) Amit Mishra