Qualifier 1: Delhi Capitals vs Mumbai Indians, Dubai
Pro Tip: Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard and Shikhar Dhawan, the big-match players, should be among your first few picks for this contest.
Our XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant, Kieron Pollard, Marcus Stoinis, Kagiso Rabada, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah, Anrich Nortje
Substitutes: Shreyas Iyer, R Ashwin, Hardik Pandya, Rohit Sharma
Player availability: Ashwin hurt his hamstring in the game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, but there is no official news on his unavailability yet. All other players are available for selection, including Rohit Sharma, who returned against the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.
Captain: Suryakumar Yadav
Yadav has played some match-winning innings. One such knock game against the Royal Challengers, which booked a playoffs’ spot for Mumbai. He has scored 410 runs at a strike rate of 150.18, so he is in good form.
Vice-captain: Shikhar Dhawan
After a few low scores, Dhawan got back into form with an important half-century against the Royal Challengers in a must-win game. He has scored 197 runs against the Mumbai Indians since 2018 at a healthy average of 39.4 and a strike rate of 134.93. Dhawan also scored 69 not out in one of the earlier games against Mumbai.
Ishan Kishan: Kishan took over the role of an opener in the absence of Sharma, but the latter’s return means he will go back to No. 4. He has scored 235 runs in his last five innings at a strike rate of 139.05, including two half-centuries. Kishan has a strike rate of 142.68 against pace and 137.58 against spin in the tournament, suggesting the pace up top from the Capitals’ quicks may not really trouble him.
Marcus Stoinis: Stoinis has been a revelation for the Capitals this season. He has been providing the impetus with the bat towards the end and also chipping in with the ball. Stoinis has scored 249 runs at a strike rate of 152.76 and also picked up eight wickets in the tournament. His strike rate at the death this season is 176.78.
Kagiso Rabada: After a couple of rough games, Rabada got back among the wickets with 2 for 30 against the Royal Challengers. He has a huge role to play in both the powerplay and at the death against a strong Mumbai line-up. Rabada is the highest wicket-taker this season with 25 strikes at an economy of 8.14 and a strike rate of 13.1.
Anrich Nortje: Nortje has had a fantastic season and even took 3 for 33 in the previous game against the Royal Challengers. Overall, he has picked up 19 wickets at an economy of 7.96. Nortje has been equally good in the powerplay and the middle overs, with six wickets at an economy of 7.60, and eight wickets at an economy of 8.47 – and a strike rate of 8.5 – respectively.
Trent Boult: Boult has picked up 20 wickets in the tournament at an economy of 8.14 and a strike rate of 15.4. No bowler has picked up more wickets than him in the powerplay, a phase where he has 12 wickets at an economy of 6.74. In two games against the Capitals this season, Boult got four wickets at an economy of 7.13.
Given the amount of dew in Dubai, batting in the second innings might become easier. So pick your captain from the team batting second.
In the last five night games at the venue, teams batting first have won on three occasions. So consider making Jasprit Bumrah your vice-captain if Mumbai bowl second and Rabada or Nortje your vice-captain if the Capitals bowl second.
Sharma is an alternate option for Kishan, but Sharma has scored only 80 runs while averaging just 16 against the Capitals since 2018.