The table-toppers meet the team at rock bottom as the Sunrisers Hyderabad take on Delhi Daredevils at the Kotla. SRH have won their last five games on the trot, while Delhi lost their previous game to…SRH. Hyderabad defeated Delhi thanks to some power hitting from Pathan in a chase that went down the wire.
SRH are through to the semis with four games to play, while it’s safe to say that Delhi’s bid for the playoffs has failed this year. The visitors put in a good performance with the bat in the last game after being shaky and broken out of jail by their bowling throughout the season. Can they further strengthen their team with another good all-round performance, or will Delhi pull off the unlikeliest upset of the year?
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shikhar Dhawan, Shakib Al Hasan, Kane Williamson (c), Manish Pandey, Carlos Brathwaite, Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha, Rashid Khan, Ricky Bhui, Deepak Hooda, Siddarth Kaul, T Natarajan, Mohammad Nabi, Basil Thampi, K Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Sachin Baby, Chris Jordan, Tanmay Agarwal, Shreevats Goswami, Bipul Sharma, Mehdi Hasan, Alex Hales.
Shreyas Iyer (c), Rishabh Pant, Glenn Maxwell, Gautam Gambhir, Jason Roy, Colin Munro, Mohammed Shami, Amit Mishra, Prithvi Shaw, Rahul Tewatia, Vijay Shankar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Daniel Christian, Jayant Yadav, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Trent Boult, Manjot Kalra, Abhishek Sharma, Sandeep Lamichhane, Naman Ojha, Sayan Ghosh, Liam Plunkett, Junior Dala.
Where the teams stand
The Sunrisers are playing as well as they ever have in the IPL. Their bowling is seemingly invincible, and now their batsmen are getting in on the game. The inclusion of Alex Hales has rejuvenated the batting with his fiery starts at the top. It has taken pressure off Shikhar Dhawan, who has taken on the anchor role. Williamson then does not need to come in within an over, and can play his natural game. Pandey got some runs against Delhi too, and has looked in good touch in the odd game, but has failed to actualise it into consistent scores. Regardless, the fact that the performance was against the same opponent will definitely boost their confidence despite their batting failure against Bangalore.
SRH once again proved their bowling supremacy by defending yet another low score. Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled 6 yorkers in a crunch last over to take SRH home, exemplifying the confidence and ability with which they have been playing. When all five of a team’s bowlers are bowling with such accuracy, there really is not much that can be done besides hope and pray that they go easy on them.
Fantasy Picks: It is hard to pick five or six from this lineup considering how they have been performing. Hales, Williamson, Bhuvi, Sandeep, and Rashid are all great picks, with Kaul and Shakib being great picks too.
Delhi need to start ringing in some changes if they want to win the game against SRH. Maxwell has failed to stand up to his potential in another disappointing season, and with Jason Roy on the bench having won them a game single-handedly already, Maxwell needs to go. The inclusion of Naman Ojha did not work out either, though to be fair his run out was unfortunate and he deserves another chance. Avesh Khan has been very expensive with the ball in recent games, and Delhi needs to utilise their bench strength when it has players like Shami. Delhi cannot hope to win this match by resting on their batsmen and must reinforce their bowling as much as possible. It might even be worth dropping Christian for Junior Dala to add the extra teeth to their attack.
Delhi have three batsmen in top form. Shaw, Pant, and Iyer are all hitting the ball sweetly and will be key batsmen against SRH’s attack. Maxwell’s poor form has already been discussed. Vijay Shankar has looked in great touch as a pinch-hitter down the order. He could make the difference for DD in a tight run-chase. The onus will still be on the bowling, and the performance of the attack will determine how DD fare.
Fantasy Picks: The three in-form batsmen for sure. Iyer, Pant, and Shaw are the obvious picks with the bat, while Mishra has been economical with the ball. Lastly, Vijay Shankar could be a crucial X-factor in the game.
SRH win. They have won their last five games, and DD are the unlikeliest team to break that streak.
Will Sunrisers Hyderabad grab another victory to keep their run going or could the Delhi Daredevils snare an unlikely upset? Let us know in the comments and poll below.