Gujarat Titans became the first team to qualify for the IPL 2023 playoffs, but there are still three spaces available, and there is fierce competition among five teams to go to the next round. Delhi Capitals, who were the first team to withdraw from the competition, will now have the chance to play spoilers in their final two games.
Dharamsala, the home base of the Punjab Kings for their final two games, will host an IPL game this season as the 12th venue, and it will be DC’s first stop. The Kings, who are now eighth on the points table with 12 points, have the possibility to finish with 16 and advance to the next round, which they have not done since finishing runners-up in 2014, finishing sixth in the prior four seasons.
After starting with two straight wins, the Kings have gone cold and hot throughout the competition. They will, however, enter the game against DC with a lot of confidence, having recently defeated the same team by 31 runs. The main reasons for Punjab’s victory were Prabhsimran Singh’s century and Harpreet Brar’s four-wicket haul, but they will also want their seasoned stars to stand up at a critical point in this IPL.
The burden of doing all the work will once again fall on the shoulders of the foreign players for DC, who have been let down by the Indian batters. After having difficulty on slow wickets in their last two games, DC can now relax knowing that the Dharamsala pitch is unlikely to present a spin challenge for the hitters.
When: 19:00 IST on May 17, 2013.
Where: Dharamsala’s Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium
What to anticipate The HPCA ground is one of the prettiest cricket grounds in the world, with the snow-capped Dhauladhar mountain as a backdrop. The India-Australia Test had to be moved elsewhere due to the bare spots on the outfield earlier this year, which wasn’t a pleasant sight. However, as Dharamsala prepares to host its first game in more than a year and its first IPL game since 2013, a picturesque field with lush green grass will welcome the teams. With temperatures in the mid-20s, the weather is predicted to be pleasant.
Kagiso Rabada last played for the Kings on April 30. Since then, he has missed three games. The batting coach, Wasim Jaffer, said that Nathan Ellis’ absence was due to his death bowling abilities; yet, given the pace of the Dharamsala wickets, the South African pacer is a likely contender for this match. On the eve of the game, he bowled a lengthy period during practice, bowling with a lot of vigor and even troubling Shikhar Dhawan, who was often sending the ball to the ceiling rather frequently.
Strategies and matchups: Although David Warner has scored 89 runs off 51 deliveries against the pacer, the left-handed batter has been removed by Rabada three times in the IPL.
Prabhsimran Singh, Liam Livingstone, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Sam Curran, Sikandar Raza, Shahrukh Khan, Harpreet Brar, Rishi Dhawan, Rahul Chahar, Arshdeep Singh, and Kagiso Rabada make up the probable XII.
Warner spent time in the nets as well, much like Dhawan, while Rovman Powell, who was as ruthless with pace and spin, cleared the ropes frequently. Powell might be able to make the team, perhaps taking the place of Rilee Rossouw despite the fact that he hasn’t been selected to play for more than a month. If DC decides to go with Anrich Nortje’s pace instead of a batter from abroad, it might be to their advantage. But if they lose early wickets, they might be at the mercy of the Indian hitters, who—aside from Axar Patel—have an overall batting average under 14.
Ishant Sharma, who has dismissed Dhawan and Liam Livingstone twice each and has a strong economy rate against them, might be a successful match-up against them.
David Warner (captain), Philip Salt (wk), Mitchell Marsh, Aman Hakim Khan, Axar Patel, Praveen Dubey, Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed, Mukesh Kumar, and Manish Pandey make up the probable XII.
Were you aware?
- Since January 2018, Dharamsala has only hosted two T20 games, both of which were part of Sri Lanka’s 2022 tour of India. Chaser teams prevailed in both games. Only three wickets were taken by spinners compared to 14 by pacers.
- – The most of any team this season, DC have lost 37 wickets to spin. Up to 29 of these wickets have been lost to bowlers who misdirect the ball to right-handers.
- – David Warner is at the top of the list and is second in the IPL for most runs against a team. Just 1059 runs shy of his 1075 against KKR, he scored against Punjab.