1. Mumbai’s solid batting despite Rohit’s early dismissal
Rohit Sharma has had his low points this season, and a golden duck in the virtual semi-final was definitely something he would have wanted to avoid. Nevertheless, his teammates Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, and Hardik Pandya carried the batting, with the latter two being the more impactful. Throughout the tournament, Mumbai’s batting has been top class. Most of the time when some of their batsmen failed, others took the opportunity to shine. There are several knocks that can be touted as good examples of this, and this is a key reason the defending champions are back in the final for a potential first successful title defense.
2. Delhi’s poor bowling and questionable choices
The Capitals’ fast bowlers, who have been critical to their success in this campaign, failed in spectacular fashion in this match. Three regular fast bowlers - Daniel Sams, Kagiso Rabada, and Anrich Nortje - gave away an absurd 136 runs for their 12 overs for just one wicket. In sharp contrast, the two spinners only gave away 56 in their 7 overs, and picked up 3 wickets. Sadly, although Marcus Stoinis gave away only 5 runs and picked up a wicket in his only over, he was given the ball much too late and wasn’t trusted with another over. Perhaps a little more experimentation with the bowling would have helped Delhi out.
3. 3 ducks at the top and DC’s batting failure
In what has to be one of the worst starts by a batting side in an IPL semi-final, DC lost their first three wickets within the first 8 deliveries and without the scores being troubled. Needless to say, this is a killer blow for just about any side chasing 200 in 20 overs. The fall of captain Shreyas Iyer within another 3 overs didn’t help things, and despite a brave attempt from Marcus Stoinis and Axar Patel, Delhi were doomed long before those two got dismissed. It was a disappointing showing for such a promising batting lineup, and DC will be hoping they don’t repeat such a performance in the second qualifier.
4. Mumbai’s speedsters
One of the things that separates a good player from a great player is the ability to adapt to pressure, and by that metric, Mumbai’s seamers were absolutely deadly. Boult started it with a double wicket maiden, while Bumrah took home the Man of the Match award for his figures of 4-1-14-4. A stark contrast to Delhi’s seamers, this was one of the deciding factors of the game.
5. Shreyas Iyer’s captaincy
Despite having been captain of DC for almost 3 seasons now, Shreyas Iyer still shows inexperience sometimes. With only 22 T20I caps for India under his belt, one can’t really blame him. While earlier wins can be attributed to the team performing well, Iyer has been consistently failing to lead from the front, with the weight of captaincy possibly affecting his batting. In a team that has the likes of Ashwin, Rahane, and Dhawan, the prospect of losing his captaincy might also be putting pressure on him, causing him to try to make decisions that make sense with the management rather than win the match. Perhaps taking that burden off of him might help him come back to form.
What’s next for DC and MI?
After having taken the win in dominating fashion, they can now wait comfortably and get four good days of rest before the final, where they will defend their crown. For DC, good form can create a kind of pressure born from expectation, and that seems to have taken over the minds of Delhi players who have lost 5 of their last 6 games now. The main questions now are can they break out of their perennial shackles, and if they do, can they finally defeat Mumbai after 3 defeats against them this season? Delhi Capitals play Sunrisers Hyderabad at 7:30PM IST on the 8th of November at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, and given the latter’s form, DC have to bring their A-game.
How our predictions went
Cricket is a game with almost countless variables, and while we got the winning team, top batsman for MI, and the team with most sixes right, the rest of our predictions fell flat. Join us next time as we analyse the eliminator match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore!