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Rishabh Pant’s Captaincy Under Lens As Delhi Capitals Eye Improved Bowling Effort Against Gujarat Titans

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New Delhi, Apr 23 (PTI) Rishabh Pant’s leadership skills will be under scrutiny as a struggling Delhi Capitals would seek a much-improved performance from their bowlers when they take on an inconsistent Gujarat Titans in the IPL here on Wednesday.

It was not an ideal homecoming for Pant as after two consecutive wins, DC slumped to a 67-run loss against a marauding Sunrisers Hyderabad at home on Saturday.
The loss saw DC slip to the eighth position with three wins and five defeats. They very well know they can’t afford to falter if they want to keep their play-off hopes alive.

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Against SRH, Pant erred in his decisions a few times, starting from the toss as he misjudged the dew factor at the Arun Jaitley Stadium and decided to bowl first.
Pant’s decision to hand the second over to Lalit Yadav, was even more contentious as SRH were off to a blazing start, scoring a record 125 for no loss in the powerplay.

On the personal front, Pant wasn’t in his element as he struggled for timing en route a painstaking 44 off 35 balls while chasing a mammoth score.
To chase a target of 267, a team needs its openers to fire from ball one but Prithvi Shaw and David Warner haven’t been too successful.

Young Jake Fraser-McGurk smashed 65 off just 18 balls to keep DC in the hunt but he lacked support from the other end, even though Abhishek Porel (42 off 22) tried his best.
DC bowlers were taken to the cleaners by SRH and they need to pull up their socks.

Left-arm seamer Khaleel Ahmed’s, whose career has been dogged by inconsistency, decision to employ short stuff in the opening over completely backfired
With short boundaries at the Kotla, DC bowlers need to pitch it up.

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Pace spearhead Anrich Nortje has been completely off-colour this season and DC would be desperately hoping veteran Ishant Sharma returns after missing the last game due to a back spasm.
Kuldeep Yadav has been DC’s best bowler in the season so far with 10 wickets from five games at an economy rate of 7.60. But he didn’t have a very good outing against SRH.
Even though he had the highest number of dot balls (8) among DC bowlers, he also conceded the maximum numbers of sixes — 7.

GT have also been equally inconsistent under new skipper Shubman Gill. But the three-wicket win over Punjab Kings in their last game has helped the former champions move up slightly in the pecking order at sixth spot from four wins and as many losses.
They would be hoping to continue the winning momentum to scale up the leaderboard and be in contention for a play-off berth.
The onus would be on Gill to lead from the front.

The likes of Sai Sudharsan, David Miller and Azmatullah Omarzai also need to let their willow do the talking while Rahul Tewatia would look to continue his pyrotechnics towards the end stage of their innings.
On the bowling front, the likes of veteran Mohit Sharma, Noor Ahmad and Rashid Khan will be expected to deliver the goods.

Teams (from):

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Delhi Capitals: Rishabh Pant (c&wk), David Warner, Abishek Porel, Ricky Bhui, Yash Dhull, Shai Hope, Prithvi Shaw, Tristan Stubbs, Kumar Kushagra (wk), Swastik Chikara, Ishant Sharma, Jhye Richardson, Rasikh Dar, Vicky Ostwal, Anrich Nortje, Mukesh Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Praveen Dubey, Khaleel Ahmed, Sumit Kumar, Axar Patel, Lalit Yadav, Jake Fraser-McGurk.

Gujarat Titans: Shubman Gill (c), David Miller, Wriddhiman Saha, Sai Sudharsan, Shahrukh Khan, Matthew Wade, Kane Williamson, Azmatullah Omarzai, Abhinav Manohar, Rashid Khan, Vijay Shankar, Rahul Tewatia, Spencer Johnson, Kartik Tyagi, Joshua Little, Darshan Nalkande, Noor Ahmad, Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore, Mohit Sharma, Jayant Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Sushant Mishra, Sandeep Warrier, Sharath BR, Manav Suthar.

Match starts at 7.30 PM.

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