If there’s one player the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) can’t do without, it’s Harshal Patel. The experienced pacer, who won the Purple Cap in the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) in an unprecedented display of death-bowling prowess, is the cornerstone of the RCB bowling attack.
In his unfortunate absence, RCB struggled to stem the flow of runs at the death against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Shivam Dube and Robin Uthappa feasted on Mohammed Siraj and Akash Deep as Faf du Plessis and Co. somehow managed to hand the struggling team their first points of the season. RCB can’t afford to make the same mistakes against the Delhi Capitals (DC), whom they face at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on SaturdaSaturday
RCB won both their matches against DC in IPL 2021. The first was a narrow one-run win as Rishabh Pant struggled to find his timing and the second game was equally tight despite the seven-wicket margin, with KS Bharat walloping Avesh Khan for a last-ball six. Pant hasn’t really hit his stride this year either, but many things have changed in both camps and a vastly different contest should be on the cards in Mumbai.
IPL 2022 Match Prediction: DC vs RCB
The Wankhede Stadium has been the lowest-scoring venue in IPL 2022, and that could play into both teams’ hands. While RCB will continue to be without Harshal, DC’s bowling attack has suffered without Anrich Nortje. Khaleel Ahmed has been a bright spark with six wickets in three games, but the likes of Mustafizur Rahman, Axar Patel and Shardul Thakur need to take up more responsibility.
DC’s batting has been hit-and-miss, too. Their last game was a welcome sign as Prithvi Shaw and David Warner fired in unison for the first time, sending shockwaves of warning to the other teams. With the Capitals likely to welcome Mitchell Marsh into the fold soon, their batting lineup could find the firepower it needs to unleash the free-stroking nature of Pant and Rovman Powell.
RCB’s opening combination isn’t anywhere near as dynamic as DC’s. Faf du Plessis and Anuj Rawat have been content with getting the team off to sedate, stable starts in the powerplay, with Virat Kohli continuing to underwhelm in the IPL. Although Dinesh Karthik and Glenn Maxwell appear to be in frightening nick, the Royal Challengers need more from their top order.
Overall, RCB seem to be too reliant on Wanindu Hasaranga and Harshal. While Hasaranga has seven wickets in their three wins, including a Player of the Match performance against the Kolkata Knight Riders, Harshal is the only reliable death bowler on the RCB roster.
DC, despite a few bowling and middle-order concerns, appear to be better equipped to counter the Wankhede surface. They might not have X-factor bowlers to dismiss Maxwell or Kohli, so RCB might still be able to walk away with a win that puts them on the right track again. But the Capitals have a slight advantage.
Prediction: DC to win Match 27 of IPL 2022