SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) were not considered title contenders for much of the season but their recent performances indicate that they have found a winning formula, which they would hope will continue working when they face the struggling Delhi Capitals (DC) in the second Qualifier of the Indian Premier League (IPL) here on Sunday.
DC have been on the wane since their brilliant performances in the first half of the season and go into this match on the back of a heavy 57-run defeat to the Mumbai Indians (MI) in the first Qualifier.
The David Warner-led SRH were struggling to find the right balance in the first half of the season, having managed just three wins in their first seven games. However, the ‘Orange Army’ regrouped at the right time and ticked all the boxes to smoothly enter the playoffs.
All-rounder Jason Holder’s (55 runs, 13 wickets) inclusion has acted as a catalyst for SRH’s turnaround. In their last game against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) Holder’s unbeaten 24 along with Williamson’s half century is what took SRH over the line after their top order fell early. He was also the highest wicket taker for the team in the match.
SRH were missing an experienced pace spearhead after Bhuvneshwar Kumar was ruled out but Sandeep Sharma (13 wickets in 12 matches) and T. Natarajan (16 wickets in 15 matches) have filled that void with Holder. Rashid Khan (19 wickets in 15 matches) has been at his best, starving batsmen for runs and dismissing them when they took risks.
DC were on a roll in the first half, winning five of their seven games before the Shreyas Iyer-led side started faltering. It all started with some injury issues as ace spinner Amit Mishra and pacer Ishant Sharma were first ruled out for the season before their batsmen started losing touch.
Shikhar Dhawan (525 runs in 15 matches) has been in sublime touch but would hope to get support from the others. Iyer (433 runs in 15 matches), all-rounder Marcus Stoinis (314 runs in 15 matches), and Prithvi Shaw (228 runs in 13 matches) have been amongst runs for their side but they have been plagued by inconsistency. Similarly, Rishabh Pant (285 runs in 12 matches) has been off-colour since his comeback from injury.
Their bowling has been DC’s main weapon with the South African pace duo Kagiso Rabada (25 wickets in 15 matches) and his compatriot Anrich Nortje (20 wickets in 14 matches). Spinners Ravichandran Ashwin (13 wickets in 13 matches) and Axar Patel (8 wickets in 13 matches) have been positives for DC in their struggles in recent games.
DC have suffered defeat at the hands of SRH in both matches that the two sides played in the group stage this season. Will the result be any different on Sunday?
Delhi Capitals: Shreyas Iyer (captain), Kagiso Rabada, Marcus Stoinis, Sandeep Lamichhane, Ishant Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Shimron Hetmyer, Alex Carey (wicketkeeper), Mohit Sharma, Prithvi Shaw, Lalit Yadav, Avesh Khan, Axar Patel, Tushar Deshpande, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Harshal Patel, Keemo Paul, Anrich Nortje, Daniel Sams
SunRisers Hyderabad: David Warner (captain), Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Shreevats Goswami (wicketkeeper), Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Abdul Samad, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Jason Holder, Abhishek Sharma, B Sandeep, Sanjay Yadav, Fabian Allen, Prithvi Raj Yarra, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Siddharth Kaul, Billy Stanlake, T Natarajan, Basil Thampi