The Gujarat Titans (GT) will meet the Delhi Capitals (DC) in game number 10 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune on Saturday. Both Gujarat and Delhi got their IPL 2022 season underway with wins under their belt. Gujarat defeated Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) by five wickets, chasing down a target of 150-plus after overcoming some initial hiccups. On the other hand, DC also impressed by chasing 178 against five-time champions, the Mumbai Indians (MI). At one stage, it seemed the match was out of Delhi’s grasp. But Lalit Yadav and Axar Patel featured in a brilliant counter-attacking partnership. As GT prepare to take on DC, here are five player battles to watch out for.
1. Prithvi Shaw vs Mohammed Shami: DC opener Prithvi Shaw played a nice cameo against Mumbai to get the team off to a flying start. When Shaw fires, he ensures that he scores at a quick pace and takes whatever run rate equation is there out of the picture. Against GT as well, his aim should be the same, to get the team off to a flyer. However, he could face a stiff challenge from Gujarat pacer Mohammed Shami at the start. The Indian medium-pacer was literally unplayable against LSG as he knocked out KL Rahul, Quinton de Kock, and Manish Pandey. Shami will look to send back the dangerous Shaw early as well.
2. Shubman Gill vs Shardul Thakur: Both Shubman Gill and Shardul Thakur had poor outings in their respective IPL 2022 openers. While Gill played an ungainly stroke to get out, Thakur was all over the place with his line and length. Despite their poor performances, their side managed to win. Gill will look to make amends by scoring valuable runs at the top. He has the game to score at a decent pace in the powerplay and must look to do the same. Thakur looks innocuous with the ball, but we all know what he is capable of. He just needs to get it right.
3. Rishabh Pant vs Rashid Khan: What an exciting contest this promises to be on paper. Delhi skipper Rishabh Pant is among the most destructive batters in the tournament and will be keen to come up with a captain’s knock. He was dismissed cheaply against MI, and his wicket hurt DC before they managed to recover. Can he come up with the goods against the crafty Rashid Khan? The leggie will be spinning the ball into the left-hander, but he also has the ability to take it away. Pant will have the dual responsibility of scoring runs and preserving his wicket against Rashid.
4. Hardik Pandya vs Axar Patel: GT captain Hardik Pandya gave glimpses of his old self against Lucknow. He played some wonderful, aggressive strokes to give the innings and his team some momentum. It eventually aided the team as they went on to win the contest. He would look to build on that impressive start to the IPL. In the middle-overs, Pandya will be challenged by the craft of Axar Patel. The left-arm spinner was expensive in the last game. However, he knows how to stifle opponents and claim key wickets as well. Hardik is definitely one.
5. Rovman Powell vs Lockie Ferguson: West Indies big-hitter Rovman Powell will come in towards the end overs for Delhi. He was picked for his big-hitting ability and would be keen to give a demonstration of the same. Powell fell for a duck against Mumbai, so he will be looking forward to correcting the failure. If he gets going, he has the ability to literally destroy opponents. As such, the West Indian would want to leave his mark if he gets a chance against GT. For Gujarat, Lockie Ferguson has the extra pace to trouble him and also has toe-crushing yorkers. Depending on which way this battle goes, it could make a difference of 20-30 runs.