Former India batsman Sanjay Bangar has issued a timely warning to Mumbai Indians ahead of their IPL 2020 Qualifier 1 against Delhi Capitals, reminding Rohit Sharma and Co that win is not going to come easy.
MI have been one of the formidable sides this season, and were the first team to secure a playoff berth, but the Capitals too have been a revelation, with a mix of youth and experience.
"Let me tell you one thing, when it goes to the playoffs, no matter what has happened in the past, it’s on the day which team plays better cricket. Delhi Capitals, I agree might not have the experience of playing a lot of playoff matches, but what they have undergone this season is very critical," Bangar said on Star Sports.
MI, who were almost unbeatable for most part of the league stage, seemed to have lost rhythm against Sunrisers Hyderabad in their final league match, with Rohit Sharma’s return from injury being short-lived and their bowlers seemingly struggling without the premier pace duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult in their 10-wicket defeat.
DC started the season with seven wins out of the first nine games, but went on to lose the next four.
However, Shreyas Iyer’s men did a pretty decent job against RCB in their final league match to return to winning ways, with R Ashwin, Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada among the wickets after asking Bangalore to bat first. Later on, fifties from Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane helped them overcome RCB and seal second spot.
Bangar highlighted the balance of youth and experience within the DC setup.
"Success early on, failures were in the latter half of the tournament, and then a very good match to qualify for and play in the second spot."
"I believe that the kind of combination they have of good, young, experienced Indian batsmen, a battery of overseas fast bowlers and Indian spinners, that is a good mix of experience, pace, youth and then, if there’s one team that can challenge Mumbai Indians, it’s Delhi Capitals. So, be aware Mumbai Indians, it’s not going to be easy," the 48-year-old concluded.
The winner of Thursday’s Qualifier 1 directly books a place in the final on Tuesday, while the loser gets another shot in the Qualifier 2 on Sunday, where they will play the winner of Friday’s Eliminator. DC have never reached an IPL final, while MI are eyeing a record fifth title.
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