After a thrilling finish to the eliminator which saw Sunrisers Hyderabad holding their nerves to knock Royal Challengers Bangalore out, we move to the Qualifier 2 on Sunday. Mumbai Indians will find out their opposition in the final, as SRH take on the Delhi Capitals for a shot at glory.
Delhi Capitals had a poor outing in their last match against MI. Chasing 201 to win, the DC lost three wickets without a run on the board. If not for Marcus Stoinis half-century, the Capitals would’ve faced a potentially embarrassing defeat. Yet, the loss must sting DC as they face a side which has troubled them on both occasions in this tournament.
IPL 2020, Qualifier 2 | Confident SRH eye final berth, struggling DC aim to solve their batting woes
Capitals are yet to beat the Sunrisers in IPL 2020. While they lost to David Warner’s side by 15 runs in their first clash, the SRH emerged top with a heavy 88-run win in their second meeting. DC will aim to find a way out as they meet the ‘Orange Army’ at Abu Dhabi.
Let’s take a look at some of the talking points ahead of the game:
A haunting named Rashid Khan:
No, these are not Test match figures. This is how Rashid has fared against Delhi Capitals across both the matches in this tournament. The DC batsmen simply had no answers for the questions Rashid posed with his web of spin.
On both the occasions, the Delhi Capitals batters looked to take on Rashid Khan, which resulted in them gifting away easy wickets. However, they can draw a page out of Finch and de Villiers’ manual on how to survive the Afghan leg-spinner.
Both the players dealt in singles and respected the good deliveries against Rashid, and didn’t shy away from being beaten. Rashid ended wicketless in the eliminator match against RCB, as he conceded 22 runs in his four-over quota.
It is no secret that Delhi Capitals have lacked the firepower in their middle-order this season. After Marcus Stoinis emerged as the unlikely hero in the position, his low-scores in most of the matches through the tournament meant that the Capitals either failed to capitalise on the momentum early on or fell like a pack of cards.
Yet, even as Shimron Hetmyer may have not played a long inning this year, he has scored quickly. The West Indian has often come to bat at 5/6 (which is not his preferred position as Hetmyer tends to bat above in the batting order for most teams) and played with aggressive intent.
The Capitals cannot expect things to change with the same combination. With Daniel Sams failing to step up, it would be wise to get the overseas quota for Shimron Hetmyer.
Will Saha play?
The speculations are rife over Saha’s injury status as SRH face the big game against DC. He missed the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore due to injury and Sunrisers only managed to see off Virat Kohli’s side in the game. However, going past Delhi Capitals may not be that easy.
Saha was in form when SRH faced DC the last time, as he had scored 87 off just 45 deliveries. Shreevats Goswami filled in for Saha against RCB but failed with the bat, and SRH cannot afford to drop an overseas player for Jonny Bairstow’s inclusion. (The current four – David Warner, Rashid Khan, Jason Holder and Kane Williamson are in top form at the moment).
Stoinis as opener?
There have been conversations doing the rounds about the possibility of Stoinis opening the innings for DC. In the press conference ahead of DC’s qualifier 1 against MI, Dhawan was asked about opening with Stoinis.
“I think the support staff thought about it [Stoinis’s name] but they didn’t discuss it with me that much. If I get the opportunity to open with him, for sure it’ll be great. But both Stoinis and I share great chemistry, we joke a lot, so it will be good fun,” Dhawan had said.
With Prithvi Shaw failing with the bat, the possibility of Stoinis opening with Dhawan wouldn’t be too far-fetched. This would allow the Capitals to have an aggressive start – and at the same time, would also ensure Stoinis had already contributed enough before facing the spinners.