In an otherwise dull Thursday night, the top and bottom placed teams of the Indian Premier League 2017/18 are going to lock horns at Delhi.
Contrary to the beliefs of the fans, the Daredevils’ fate has not changed significantly after the switch in the captaincy. Following the resignation of Gautam Gambhir, Shreyas Iyer has led the team in the last few games. Yet, the side are struggling at the bottom of the league log. While they can still make it to the top four, another defeat will put an end to that hope, barring some odd and unrealistic mathematical combinations. Naturally, Delhi have to go all out against an in form Sunrisers Hyderabad side, who, under the able leadership of Kane Williamson, are reigning at the zenith for some time now.
Delhi played their last match against the same opponents only. In that game, Iyer won the toss and chose to bat first. Thanks to youngster Prithvi Shaw’s magnificent 65 and the skipper’s valiant 44, the team registered a respectable total of 163/5 from 20 overs. However, the Delhi bowlers could not keep the pressure during the second innings. Alex Hales, Shikhar Dhawan, Yusuf Pathan and the captain – all contributed in the chase, and Hyderabad managed to snatch all the points with only one ball to spare.
Sunrisers continued their winning momentum in their next match too, when they faced Royal Challengers Bangalore. Williamson’s boys have been the best bowling side of this IPL, and that too by a huge margin. The encounter with RCB was another testimony to this fact. After being put to bat first, Hyderabad got all out within 146. On any other day, this total would seem puny in front of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers; but Rashid Khan and co thought otherwise. A resilient Sunrisers bowling attack managed to stop the destructive batsmen of RCB and eventually they suffered a defeat by 5 runs.
Delhi tried to experiment with their starting lineup, but it failed miserably. Dropping Colin Munro in favour of allrounder Dan Christian did not pay off, while opening with Glenn Maxwell also proved to be quite a bad decision. They would probably go back to their original combination, and bring Munro back to the squad. In that case, Shahbaz Nadeem can be reinstated in the bowling department to put more pressure on the Sunrisers batting.
Williamson, however, will probably not consider any change to his first eleven. Shikhar Dhawan has been struggling little bit with his recent injuries, but he is expected to open the innings once again. Only point of concern is perhaps the recent form of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has looked out of sort since he came back from injury. The team management will look forward to see the fast bowler back to his original form.
Delhi Daredevils: Colin Munro, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer (C), Rishabh Pant (Wk), Glenn Maxwell, Vijay Shankar, Liam Plunkett, Amit Mishra, Shahbaz Nadeem, Avesh Khan, Trent Boult.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Shikhar Dhawan, Alex Hales, Kane Williamson (C), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Wriddhiman Saha, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddharth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma.
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