In pursuit of booking a berth in the final and moving closer to the coveted IPL trophy, Delhi Capitals (DC) and SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) are set to lock horns in the second Qualifier of the on-going IPL 2020. It has been a contrasting tale of both these sides, especially in the latter stage of the tournament. While the Capitals have been struggling to register a win, SRH have peaked at the right time.
Struggling to find a winning combination, DC have clinched only one win in their past six games. Their previous fixture against Mumbai Indians (MI) was a testament to their inconsistent batting show. While hunting a daunting 200-run total at Dubai, DC slumped to 0/3 after their top-order bigwigs departed on ducks. Marcus Stoinis' 65 off 46 and Axar Patel's 33-ball 42 did raise hopes of fans but DC were ultimately wrapped up for a meagre 143.
Prithvi Shaw's woeful form with the bat (228 from 13 games) and poor technique against fast bowlers will be a concern for the Delhi batting unit. To complement Shikhar Dhawan at the top, the team management may rope in a new face. To add to DC's batting woes, Ajinkya Rahane (111 from 7 games) has had only one knock of note so far.
However, their bowling unit has been delivering impressive performances. Kagiso Rabada (25 wickets), Anrich Nrtje (20) and Ravichandran Ashwin (13) have done exceedingly well in most of the games. SRH's in-form all-rounder -- Jason Holder -- also acknowledged DC's bowling force ahead of the crucial tie.
"What we have done in batting is that we have been aggressive up front. 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 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 added.
Talking about SRH, the past couple of weeks have been phenomenal for them. Be it their trustworthy top-order or economical bowling unit, SRH have emerged as title contenders by clicking at the right time. After an underwhelming first half, Sunrisers Hyderabad started pushing the envelope with the mercurial David Warner marshalling his resources well. Warner wouldn't mind adding another 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. Though Wriddhiman Saha's groin injury will be a setback for the Orange Army, Shreevats Goswami will be expected to rise to the occasion.
"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.
Along with Holder, SRH have the likes of Rashid Khan, T Natarajan and Sandeep Sharma to dent DC's title heist. 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.
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.
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.
The match starts at 7:30 pm (IST)
(With PTI Inputs)