Not too long back, the Delhi Capitals (DC) were comfortably seated at the top of the table, with 7 wins from 9 games. In a bid to end their wretched run there on, they made three changes to their side. Nothing quite worked, however, in a hapless defeat against the Mumbai Indians (MI).
Dishearteningly for DC, their top order was dented by one of their former players in Trent Boult. Their in-form batsman Dhawan tamely cut one to point, while Ajinkya Rahane's replacement Prithvi Shaw didn't last too long. Though the middle order toiled, MI's pacers were too good as the team collectively failed with the bat.
Chasing a paltry 115 for victory, MI were never likely to struggle. A strong opening partnership increasingly pushed DC out of the game. Though Anrich Nortje prized out compatriot de Kock, Ishan Kishan batted as if he had a point to prove in his 72. With nearly 6 overs to spare, MI were done with the chase.
The defeat has meant the wheels are starting to come off for DC and their campaign this season. Several players would find themselves to blame - here are the top 3 underperformers from the match.
#3 Marcus Stoinis (DC)
Marcus Stoinis has been one of DC's key players this season, starring in their first game with both bat and ball, and making important knocks in the middle order. His tapering form, however, has meant DC lack much-needed firepower in the middle. While the wickets have dried up, the lack of runs hurts the team the most.
Lasting just three balls, Stoinis guided an awkwardly bouncing, back of a length ball from Jasprit Bumrah to the keeper to be dismissed for 2 runs. While his solitary over with the ball went for four runs, it did nothing to arrest the slide for DC that a woeful batting performance had begun.
#2 Prithvi Shaw (DC)
Prithvi Shaw has been touted as one of India's players to look out for, earning a place on India's tour to Australia in the Test format. After a spate of low-impact innings by his Mumbai and Team India senior Rahane, Shaw was deemed to have more of an impact on his return.
It didn't quite work out for DC. A slow start went from bad to worse as Shaw top-edged an attempted pull shot, the fourth such dismissal for him this season. His 10 off 11 did not give DC a much-needed quick start off the blocks, leaving the middle order to pick up the pieces that they ultimately failed to do.
#1 Shikhar Dhawan (DC)
Back-to-back centuries, and Shikhar Dhawan was the talk of the town as he seamlessly covered up for Shaw's poor form and Pant's absence. As the team started running out of juice, it had an effect on the India international as well.
A string of low scores after those highs has ensured that while Dhawan personally remains in the proud Orange Cap race, DC has more problems than solutions in the top order. His dismissal for a duck led to another DC top-order collapse and meant the team crumbled against MI, who cruise into Qualifier 1.