In-form SRH Hold Edge Against Inconsistent DC in Qualifier 2

The past couple of weeks have been a picture in contrast for the two sides.  

4 min read
SRH Captain David Warner and DC Captain Shreyas Iyer during the Toss before the match 47 of season 13 of the Dream 11 Indian Premier League (IPL).

One of the factors that has helped the Sunrisers Hyderabad resurrect their season after a not so impressive start to the campaign was the addition of West Indies captain Jason Holder, who played a big role in keeping the side alive in the playoffs.

For the David Warner-led Hyderabad, who have ticked all the boxes, the next challenge is a Delhi Capitals side who have been inconsistent but will look to bounce back strongly after the humiliating defeat at the hands of the Mumbai Indians in the first game of the knockout phase of IPL 2020.

The past couple of weeks have been a picture in contrast for the two sides.

After an underwhelming first half, Sunrisers Hyderabad started pushing the envelope with the mercurial David Warner marshalling his resources well.

Capitals, on the other hand, looked like serious contenders till their first nine games, winning seven in that phase before an inexplicable slump saw them lose five out of their next six matches with skipper Shreyas Iyer looking all at sea.

Delhi Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer watches on from the dugout. 
Delhi Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer watches on from the dugout. 
(Photo: BCCI/IPL)

The current situation notwithstanding, young Iyer would want to lead the Capitals to their first summit clash in 13 editions while Warner wouldn’t mind adding another bit of silverware to his 2016 triumph.

In fact, if he can win the next two games, Warner could boast of guiding comparatively one of the more inexperienced teams in this IPL.

For Capitals, the biggest worry has been their top-order woes — especially the first three slots where Shikhar Dhawan (525 in 15 games) has shone the brightest.

Prithvi Shaw’s (228 from 13 games) technique against top quality fast bowling has left a lot to be desired for and Ajinkya Rahane (111 from 7 games) has had only one knock of note so far.

Something that would definitely worry coach Ricky Ponting is the number of ducks by the top-order — nine. Dhawan has four, Shaw has three and Rahane didn’t bother the scorers twice.

However, the bowling unit has done well save a few occasions like the first qualifier, where the Mumbai Indians batting order took them apart.

Kagiso Rabada (25 wickets), Anrich Nrtje (20) and Ravichandran Ashwin (13) have done exceedingly well in most of the games.

The Sunrisers’ batting line-up, which has gathered momentum over the last few games, is well aware of that, and the Orange Army’s premier all-rounder Jason Holder acknowledged the fact.

“What we have done in batting is that we have been aggressive upfront. David has obviously led the charge, well supported by (Wriddhiman) Saha.

“Jonny (Bairstow) has done an outstanding job and Manish (Pandey) has kept the momentum going,” Holder said when asked about their strategy to face the DC attack.

“And then we have the level-headedness of Kane (Williamson). Being good to come and finish games. So we don’t play names, we see the ball and strike the ball,” Holder said.

Saha’s groin injury, which ruled him out of the eliminator, might also keep him out of the second qualifier.

“We have faith in (Shreevats) Goswami. He has been around for some time and we need to give confidence,” said Holder, whose 13 wickets in six games along with crucial middle- order contributions, has been the ‘x factor’ for his side.

Rashid Khan celebrates during the game against Delhi Capitals. 
Rashid Khan celebrates during the game against Delhi Capitals. 
(Image: BCCI/IPL)

Rashid Khan’s parsimonious economy rate of less than six runs per over, the unheralded T Natarajan’s subtle variations and Sandeep Sharma’s ability to get some swing upfront only add to the strengths of Warner’s team.

For the Capitals however, the weak spots which they can exploit is the inexperience of two middle-order players — Priyam Garg and Abdul Samad — who are playing some of the biggest matches of their nascent careers.

In the event Capitals make early inroads, it will be a test of character for the young but talented duo.

Daniel Sams’ poor show with the ball so far is a concern for the Capitals and they might explore the option of bringing back Shimron Hetmyer in place of the left-arm seamer, which will also add some batting firepower.

In that case, Marcus Stoinis might have to bowl his full quota of overs alongside Rabada, Nortje, Ashwin and Axar Patel.

Teams (from):

Delhi Capitals: Shreyas Iyer (c), Kagiso Rabada, Marcus Stoinis, Sandeep Lamichhane, Ishant Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Shimron Hetmyer, Alex Carey, Mohit Sharma, Prithvi Shaw, Lalit Yadav, Avesh Khan, Axar Patel, Tushar Deshpande, Rishabh Pant, Harshal Patel, Keemo Paul, Amit Mishra, Anrich Nortje, Daniel Sams.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (C), Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Shreevats Goswami, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Wriddhiman Saha, 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.

(With PTI Inputs)

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