The last week in the Indian Premier League has been a bumpy ride for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Not long ago, they were flying high after a bright start at the second spot in the points table. However, such has been the turn of events that they've considerably slowed down and will be looking to regain steam as they face Delhi Capitals, who are now at the second spot in the points table. It just demonstrates how competitive IPL can be that the two teams have interchanged their position. The two teams are set to meet at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad on Sunday, 14th April. While Hyderabad are clearly ahead if we compare the two teams head-to-head, but they are coming off two back to back losses which makes this contest a perfect candidate of a thrilling encounter.
Sunrisers Hyderabad started off the tournament in a brilliant fashion, but soon lost steam primarily due to the two major reasons. One - the absence of their regular skipper Kane Williamson has hurt them in both batting and captaincy. While Bhuvneshwar Kumar hasn't been a bad captain, he has lacked taking the tactical and strategic decisions which we have seen with Kane Williamson so often.
The other reason has been their underperforming middle order. The middle-order consisting of Vijay Shankar, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Mohammad Nabi looked demolishing when the tournament started. However, Vijay Shankar hasn't been able to convert his starts and probably number three is one position too high to bat for him. Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, and Deepak Hooda have all lacked the will to stay in the middle which has led to SRH losing way in the middle overs.
Bowling-wise, things aren't as bad looking for the Sunrisers. Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshvar Kumar, and Sandeep Sharma have done exceedingly well in the tournament thus far. However, they haven't been able to keep their nerve during the death overs resulting in leakage of too many runs. All in all, Sunrisers Hyderabad are the prime example of the difference one man can make. Kane Williamson was the leading run-scorer last year and arguably the backbone of SRH lineup. It is still uncertain whether he will be a part of the lineup in the upcoming match and if he is, SRH won't be as easy to get past as they've been in their last two matches.
Delhi Capitals displayed an extraordinary display with both bat and ball as they punished Kolkata Knight Riders to garner a much-needed win just a day ago. The biggest positive for Delhi Capitals was Shikhar Dhawan's return to form. Dhawan played a crucial knock to nail down a tall total and considering his habit of continuing racking up runs when in good form, things aren't going to be easy for SRH bowlers.
Delhi Capitals have now registered back to back victories, one against Royal Challengers Bangalore and the other one over Kolkata Knight Riders, both of which should have imbibed plenty of confidence among the players.
Earlier in the tournament, Delhi Capitals often struggled at the top - either due to sluggish starts or losing too many wickets in the first half, but with Dhawan and Iyer back amongst the runs in the last two matches respectively, their batting order looks solid than ever.
On paper, Delhi Capitals have arguably the best bowling lineup in the competition. The likes of Kagiso Rabada, Ishant Sharma, and Chris Morris are more than capable to derail any team off their plans early on while Rahul Tewatia, Axar Patel, and Sandeep Lamichhane have bowled beautifully up until the tournament so far. With momentum and a pretty settled lineup, Overall, Delhi Capitals look as good as any side in the tournament.
- Sunrisers Hyderabad are a little too over-depended on David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, and to some extent Vijay Shankar as far as batting is concerned.
- Delhi Capitals are coming off two massive wins and the momentum can play a big role in the shortest version of the game.
- Delhi Capitals bat deep with the likes of Tewatia, Morris available to bat in the lower order which can often be a difference between a win and a loss.
- Sunrisers Hyderabad are looking to get back on track after losing each of their last two matches.
- That is despite boasting the top run scorer in the tournament so far - David Warner has hit three half-centuries and an unbeaten hundred in his six innings this season.
- Delhi Capitals have won their last two matches, meanwhile - Shikhar Dhawan finishing unbeaten on 97 from 63 balls in their most recent win.