A desperate Delhi Daredevils will have to learn from the mistakes made in the previous game against table-toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad when the two sides with contrasting campaigns meet in a re-match of the Indian Premier League at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi on Thursday. Languishing at the bottom of the table with three wins from 10 games, the Shreyas Iyer-led team will have to win tomorrow to have any chance of progressing further in the tournament.
They have looked a better unit ever since Iyer took over the captaincy from Gautam Gambhir but small mistakes at key moments have proved fatal for them.
Courtesy a sublime 65 from the highly-talented Prithvi Shaw, Delhi put up a challenging 163 against Sunrisers in their away game at Hyderabad on May 5. But they were unable to defend 28 runs off the last two overs with the experienced Dan Christian and Trent Boult letting the team down.
Delhi could have won rather easily if they held on to the catches of Sunrisers opener Alex Hales and Yusuf Pathan, who eventually got his team over the line with a 12-ball 27.
Iyer admits that the same mistakes cannot be repeated against a strong Sunrisers, arguably the best bowling side in the tournament.
"It is very disappointing, to be honest. We were on top at one point. See, catches win matches, we've been practising on our fielding, but drops happen when the pressure is high. We didn't give up till the end," Iyer had said post the seven-wicket loss.
However, the big positive for Delhi has been the form of captain Iyer and opener Shaw. The Feroz Shah Kotla has proved to be a high-scoring venue and both the in-form batsmen are expected to deliver in the do-or-die affair.
Iyer and Shaw's confidence must be a notch higher too, having made the India and India A squads respectively for the UK series. Besides being named India A captain, Iyer was also picked in the India ODI squad.
Glenn Maxwell has been a big disappointment for Delhi and it remains to be seen if he gets another opportunity tomorrow or the hosts bring back Colin Munro to open with Shaw.
The Ricky Ponting-coached side played only one specialist spinner in Amit Mishra at Hyderabad and he did a much much better job than the pacers. Therefore, Iyer and Co. might be tempted to bring in another spinner alongside Mishra.
Sunrisers, on the other hand, have most things going for them.
Hales has performed at the top in the limited chances he has got and now the team would be hoping that star player, Shikhar Dhawan, is back to his best. Dhawan has had a quiet tournament after scores of 78 and 45 in the first two games. The bowling is lethal and can defend any total, as it has shown time and again this season.
Captain Kane Williamson attributed the Sunrisers' rampaging run to adaptability.
"No secret on why we're doing well. We've adapted to a variety of surfaces. There are not many league games left, and we want to still see signs of improvement. Not perfect, but want to keep at it," Williamson had said after the win at home against Delhi.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kane Williamson (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Wriddhiman Saha, Siddharth Kaul, Deepak Hooda, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Shreevats Goswami, Ricky Bhui, Basil Thampi, T Natarajan, Sachin Baby, Bipul Sharma, Mehdi Hasan, Tanmay Agarwal, Alex Hales, Carlos Brathwaite, Rashid Khan, Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Nabi and Chris Jordan.
Delhi Daredevils: 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.
Match starts 8pm IST.
(With PTI Inputs)