Capital gains for Delhi Capitals

Delhi Capitals got a major boost ahead of their IPL clash against Lucknow Super Giants at the DY Patil Stadium on Thursday with the availability of Australian pocket dynamo David Warner and South Africa speed king Anrich Nortje for their first game of the season.

“Warner is out of quarantine, so he’s definitely available for selection for the next game, which is very exciting. Nortje has been going incredibly well over the last couple of weeks, since he’s arrived here in India. And he has passed his fitness test to [also] be available for selection,” said DC’s assistant coach Shane Watson ahead of the clash.

Shane Watson

Warner has been phenomenal with the bat in the IPL with a tally of 5,449 runs over different editions of the T20 league and will be making his debut for his new franchise.

First match after injury

Nortje, who can clock over 150 kmph, will also be playing his first match for DC after recovering from injury. The South African is expected to bowl alongside Bangladesh’s Mustafizur Rahman who grabbed 3 for 23 in DC’s loss against Gujarat Titans on April 2 at Pune.

DC, led by the swashbuckling Rishabh Pant, stunned five-time champions Mumbai Indians by four wickets in their first game on March 27 before losing to the Titans by 14 runs. “The squad are looking incredibly good. It is well balanced with match winners right through. What is going to be the right combination is the real challenge,” said Australian Watson.

In Warner’s absence, New Zealand’s wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert opened DC’s innings with Prithvi Shaw, but didn’t score big. Shaw too flopped in the second game after scoring 38 in the opener and would need to buck up along with one drop Mandeep Singh.

Thakur’s form, a concern

Another player not in top form is all-rounder Shardul Thakur, who brings a lot of balance to the playing XI.

Rivals LSG hold the advantage of having played at this venue and go into the contest knowing a win in their fourth game would boost them to the top on the table with six points.

The Super Giants have won two out of their three encounters so far, including the previous one here on April 4 against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Avesh Khan and lanky West Indian Jason Holder combined forces with the ball to stop SRH from overhauling their total of 169 for 7.

Skipper KL Rahul has been in good form while more was expected from Quinton de Kock, his opening partner. But what has been troubling them is the poor form of Manish Pandey.

Deepak Hooda has been in cracking touch with his clean hitting while the bowling has been a mixed bag, the display against SRH when defending a competitive total being the pick of the lot.  

“The Lucknow Super Giants have got a very strong team. KL can take the game away from an opposition very quickly, especially if he’s in the mood of taking the game on. There’s Quinton de Kock, everyone knows the incredible skill he’s got as a batter. We’ve to watch out for Hooda and Avesh as well,” Watson noted.

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