Languishing at the bottom of the Indian Premier League 2017 points table, Delhi Daredevils (DD) on Tuesday will host defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad at Feroz Shah Kotla Ground in the capital.
Having lost five games in a trot and now skipper Zaheer Khan to a hamstring injury, Delhi under the standing captain Karun Nair has a mammoth of a task at hand to turn around and get back to winning days — Delhi has lost both the times they faced SRH at their home ground.
Hyderabad is currently sitting in the third position in the points table and have virtually qualified for the play-offs. The team is having a good run and seems to have found their momentum back.
Halfway past the IPL season and the Delhi Daredevils fans must be cursing the plot that went haywire. After the auctions were done, cricketing pundits across the board were convinced that the new revamped Daredevils were one of the strongest contenders to lift the Coveted IPL trophy. Delhi was a perfect amalgamation of past and present bound for a successful future.
Delhi started off to a flier — defeated Rising Pune Supergiant by 97 runs; defeated Kings XI Punjab by 51 runs and then begin the nose dip of 5 back to back losses, including being bundled for their lowest ever of 67 runs in their last fixture two day ago against Kings XI Punjab — even Rahul Dravid could do nothing but watch from the dugout.
As per reports, Delhi will not be able to avail the services of experienced skipper Zaheer Khan — Hamstring injury; this means Karun Nair will once again have to step up for the cause as he did against KXIP on Sunday.
To make the matter worse, Delhi is also facing the problem to pick the best playing XI. Coach Paddy Upton and Rahul Dravid will require addressing the issue as the tournament ios narrowing down and they have to release some of its key foreign players — Sam Billings (England); Chris Morris and Kagiso Rabada (South Africa) — for national duties in the coming week.
With not many games left before the play-offs begin, Delhi Daredevils must pull their act together and everyone needs to chip in.
The likes of Karun Nair, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant have failed to capitalise on the good starts and succumbed under pressure. Their track record speaks high of them and they need to play like they believe in it. Rahul Dravid will surely want to pass that tip to them ahead of tonight’s game.
Sanju Samson and Sam Billings look good at the top and need to play a longer inning and not just be content with the quick start they give to the team. Having seen their middle order collapse so many times this season, one of them needs to anchor the ends and let the other partner be the executioner.
Delhi boasts of a very strong pace bowling lineup — Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Mohammed Shami. Captain Karun Nair will have to use the services wisely in the Kotla pitch that offers some late movement to the Seamers.
Spinner Amit Mishra and Jayant Yadav (if picked), can also prove to be the very helpful in providing the breakthroughs and contain the leak to runs during the middle of the innings.
Opponents Sun Risers Hyderabad is currently on a roll after defeating Kolkata Knight Riders by 48 runs in their last fixture. The high point of the game was the all round performance of the team and a blistering hundred by Captain David Warner —against possibly the best side in this year’s IPL tournament.
Leading from the front, Warner — 459 runs from 9 matches — and Shikhar Dhawan — 341 runs in 9 matches — have been the backbone with their high flying starts to the team.
The middle order of Hyderabad looks much better ever since the return of Kiwi batsman Kane Williamson — 204 runs from 4 matches. Williamson’s addition gives Hyderabad openers the licence to free their arms from the word ‘PLAY’.
Further Yuvraj Singh, Naman Ojha, Moises Henriques though have not spent a lot of time in the middle — courtesy to the top order firework. The opponents know they too can belt the ball around the part at will when in the groove.
While the batsmen are on a song; Sunrisers Hyderabad is also a very settled unit as far as their bowling department is concerned.
The prowess of Bhuveshwar Kumar — 20 wickets in 9 matches — and the Afghan entrant Rashid Khan — 12 wickets in 9 matches — are leading the bowling attack for SRH.
Hyderabad will have to see that not a lot of runs are leaked during the middle and slog overs. Henriques, Hooda, Ben Cutting will have to hold onto their strength in case their prime bowlers suffer a bad day at the office.
All in all, Sunrisers Hyderabad Coach Tom Moody will be a very pleased person at this moment and want to just sit and enjoy as the team grows stronger with each game they play together.
Both the teams will want to chase the target after winning the toss at Ferozeshah Kotla on Tuesday.
Delhi Daredevils has a steep task to bounce back in this IPL season and to make it to the play-offs.
Sunrisers Hyderabad is on a roll at the moment and will want to win this match to cement their contender ship for the IPL trophy all over again.