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With middle-order under-performing, DC mull Axar’s batting number ahead of must-win game against GT

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AHMEDABAD, May 1 (PTI): Delhi Capitals will need their under-performing Indian batters to deliver when they take on the mighty and versatile Gujarat Titans in the IPL here on Tuesday.

The abject failure of Prithvi Shaw and Sarfaraz Khan has contributed significantly to Delhi Capitals’ travails this season as they find themselves in a do-or-die situation with six losses from eight games.

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They will probably need to win all of their remaining six games to make the IPL play-offs but considering the resources at their disposal, it looks highly unlikely.

Shaw’s dismal run has given an opportunity to Phil Salt to open alongside David Warner. He was at his destructive best in the last game and the team would need him to be consistent alongside Warner and number three Mitchell Marsh, who finally played to his potential against Sunrisers Hyderabad with an all-round performance.

Delhi have been guilty of losing too many wickets in the middle overs and they must address it going forward. Keeping the in-form Axar Patel for the death overs is understandable but considering his dream run with the bat over the past 12 months in international cricket, Warner could push him to number five if not higher.

Coming into the season as a replacement player, Priyam Garg has got a much needed opportunity and he only has himself to blame if he cannot make it count. Veteran Manish Pandey can also do better at number four.

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The Indian bowlers in the side are not faring as badly as the batters but Mukesh Kumar can definitely improve his economy rate, having conceded close to 11 runs per over in seven games.

Old horse Ishan Sharma has done his job in the three games he has been part of while Anrich Nortje will be looking for wickets in the coming games.

Delhi are in deep trouble and they are up against an opponent in Gujarat Titans who have built a reputation of winning a game from any situation.

Chasing 180 against KKR on Saturday, they were in a spot of bother but eventually got home with 13 balls to spare.

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Batting alongside David Miller, Vijay Shankar played one of his best IPL innings to take the team to its sixth win in eight games. The defending champions remain the team to beat this season.

Irish left arm pacer Joshua Little is coming into his own after learning some harsh lessons in his debut season.

In the spin department, they could always bank on Rashid Khan but now they have another Afghanistan gem in Noor Ahmad, who has bagged eight wickets in four games with an impressive economy rate of 7.33.

Teams:

Delhi Capitals: David Warner (c), Prithvi Shaw, Sarfaraz Khan, Aman Hakim Khan, Abhishek Porel (wk), Axar Patel, Khaleel Ahmed, Kuldeep Yadav, Rovman Powell, Rilee Rossouw, Anrich Nortje, Mustafizur Rahaman, Chetan Sakariya, Mukesh Kumar, Phil Salt, Lungi Ngidi, Praveen Dubey, Lalit Yadav, Ripal Patel, Vicky Ostwal, Ishant Sharma, Manish Pandey, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Yash Dhull.

Gujarat Titans: Hardik Pandya (c), Shubman Gill, David Miller, Abhinav Manohar, Sai Sudharsan, Wriddhiman Saha, Matthew Wade, Rashid Khan, Rahul Tewatia, Vijay Shankar, Mohammed Shami, Alzarri Joseph, Yash Dayal, Pradeep Sangwan, Darshan Nalkande, Jayant Yadav, R. Sai Kishore, Noor Ahmad, Dasun Shanaka, Odean Smith, KS Bharat, Shivam Mavi, Urvil Patel, Joshua Little and Mohit Sharma.

Match starts at 7:30 IST.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttp://www.thehillstimes.in
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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