Delhi Capitals will be playing their final league game against Mumbai Indians on Saturday at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. With a win, they can seal a spot in the playoffs but for that, they will need their star batter David Warner to deliver for them once again, the question will he be able to?
IPL 2022 is reaching the end of the league stage and the race to book a spot in the playoffs is heating up. But, before we dive into who all are still competing for a spot let's rewind to what the season has been like. This year saw the introduction of two new teams in the Indian Premier League which are Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants. Gujarat Titans are being led by Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul is the leader of the Lucknow Super Giants.
The beginning of the year saw a mega-auction being held as fans were intrigued about what their favourite teams will look like. Kolkata Knight Riders were revamped and they found a new skipper in Shreyas Iyer. Even Chennai Super Kings right before the start of the season saw MS Dhoni handing over the captaincy to Ravindra Jadeja. But, that move did not go according to plan and MS Dhoni was handed the captaincy back by Ravindra Jadeja mid-season. Royal Challengers Bangalore too found a new skipper in Faf du Plessis after Virat Kohli decided to step down from the leadership role last year. Punjab Kings like several other franchises made Mayank Agarwal the captain after KL Rahul's departure from the franchise. Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals did not see any change in their leadership.
One team that had a lot of bad press and internal problems last season was the Sunrisers Hyderabad. The team had finished last in IPL 2021 and there were several issues within the squad it seemed during the time. To refresh your memory, let me remind you that Kane Williamson was not a part of the first few games which had raised a lot of questions. Fans and former cricketers were stumped as to why the Kiwi batter was not included in the first XI during the tournament. There were reports that he was injured which is why he missed the first few games. But the bigger issue for the franchise was David Warner.
The left-handed Australian batter it seemed was not enjoying his time with the franchise. David Warner is the man who led Sunrisers Hyderabad to their first and only IPL title back in 2016. The batter was having a horrible time in IPL 2021 with the bat but what was more of a concern was the fact that the SRH dugout had probably fallen out. David Warner was removed as captain mid-season and Kane Williamson was appointed the skipper. Things had gone so bad that David Warner was not even present at the ground for SRH's matches.
Everybody had thought that David Warner is way past his prime and will not be a top draw when the IPL mega-auction takes place in 2022. However, after his stellar showing in the T20 World Cup David Warner's stock had risen once again and the left-handed batter was bought by Delhi Capitals for INR 6.25 crore.
David Warner had to miss out on the first few games of the season in IPL 2022 as he playing for Australia against Pakistan. However, since the moment he joined the Rishabh Pant-led side he has looked in tremendous form. Warner has smashed bowlers to all parts of the ground and has performed consistently for his new franchise.
Last year, David Warner had a dismal time as he could only score 195 runs from 8 matches at an average of 24.37. But, IPL 2022 things have completely changed for him as Warner has scored 427 runs in 11 games with an average of 53.38 and a strike rate of 151.96 which is incredible.
He has been the backbone of the Delhi Capitals batting line-up and has scored runs at crucial moments for his side. It is because of his batting that Rishabh Pant's side is in a position where they can still reach the playoffs as a win against Mumbai Indians will help them displace RCB from the fourth spot because of a higher net run rate.
Delhi Capitals' game against Mumbai Indians is a virtual quarter-final of sorts that they need to win at all costs. For that to happen, David Warner will be the man who they will be depending on most as he has been the only batter who has played with consistency for them. Yes, in the kast game against Punjab Kings Warner did get a golden duck when Lian Livingstone dismissed him. But, the left-handed batter is too good to make the same mistake again.
He knows how important this game is for his side and how much they depend on him to provide a good start. So, Warner will be hoping to make sure that he bats as long as possible in the game against Mumbai Indians. Rohit Sharma's Mumbai Indians have nothing to fear in this game and might come out firing on all cylinders which is why David Warner's innings in this game can be a deciding factor for Delhi Capitals.
If David Warner does well, he can take his side to the playoffs with ease and make Delhi Capitals the most dangerous side in the playoffs. If he doesn't do well then it may be curtains for Rishabh Pant and his team.