When Chris Woakes and Jason Roy pulled out of IPL 2020 due to personal reasons, many Delhi Capitals supporters must have thought of the worst. After all Delhi fans have been craving for success for so many years and two overseas stars pulling out is not the best way to start a campaign.
But little did they know that the franchise would end up striking gold with one of the replacements. Yes, South African Anrich Nortje, signed in place of Woakes, has quietly been the star of the campaign so far.
While his famous countryman Kagiso Rabada has been the centre of attraction, and why not – Rabada leads the purple cap race with 12 wickets, Nortje has been a rock in the bowling line-up for the Capitals, often delivering key wickets and building up pressure with his disciplined bowling. Add to that his blistering pace and the Protea has been quite a revelation this season.
So, when DC take on the battered Rajasthan Royals on Friday, they would hope both Rabada and Nortje are in their elements. The Royals have struggled in their last three encounters but they are back in Sharjah for this contest, the venue where they won their opening two matches.
Delhi would also need Ashwin and Axar to keep it tight on the flat deck at Sharjah. The likes of Buttler and Samson like to stand and deliver and Delhi need to be wary of that. Delhi’s top order is in good form and so is that ‘rocket launcher’ from Australia, Marcus Stoinis.
Archer needs support and it needs to come from the likes of Tom Curran and Shreyas Gopal. Kartik Tyagi impressed on his IPL debut and it will be interesting to see what the youngster has in store for the in form batsmen from DC on a placid track with short boundaries.
A high scoring match is definitely on the cards, with both teams wanting to chase on this venue. Whoever bats first needs to ensure they bat the opposition out of the match, because almost any total is chaseable in Sharjah.