Sunrisers Hyderabad have hit a snag at the halfway point of the league phase of IPL 2019 and need a quick turnaround when they host Delhi Capitals on Sunday.
Sunrisers started off brilliantly, riding on the explosive opening partnership of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow and the wily off-spin of Mohammad Nabi. However, their last two games in challenging conditions ended in defeat against Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab.
The defeat to Mumbai was especially stinging as they were chasing just 137 at home but a rampant Alzarri Joseph – on debut – scalped best ever IPL figures of 6-12 to blow them away for 96.
Their next clash came against Punjab and they lost that too, in a tense chase by Kings XI.
In both games, it was a wobbly top order that exposed the weak middle of Sunrisers. Warner and Bairstow failed to fire in unison and SRH simply had no Plan B. Their remaining batting line up of Vijay Shankar, Deepak Hooda, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan and Mohammad Nabi does not scream ‘world-beating batsmen’.
They have a simple solution to all their batting woes – Kiwi captain Kane Williamson.
Williamson had a flare up of the shoulder injury that had required careful management coming into the tournament and after he was forced to sit out because of it in the IPL, Sunrisers found a winning overseas formula in Warner, Bairstow, Nabi and Rashid Khan. But with their batting low on confidence and up against a rampant Delhi pace attack that has Kagiso Rabada, Chris Morris and Ishant Sharma, they will need Kane in the line-up.
Bairstow or Nabi?
SRH coach Tom Moody confirmed Williamson will be available for the Delhi match. Which means either Bairstow or Nabi will have to sit out as Warner and Rashid will always be first-choice picks.
Both Bairstow and Nabi have been brilliant so far but the former seems on slightly weaker footing as Nabi has been excellent with the ball and offers some runs down the order. Sunrisers can drop any one of their middle order and bring in a proper wicketkeeper like Sreevats Goswami or Wriddhiman Saha to take over from Jonny.
Delhi on a high
The Capitals will be high on confidence following their thumping win over Kolkata Knight Riders. The return to form of opener Shikhar Dhawan – who missed out on a deserved ton by three runs in Kolkata – adds some serious power to an already decent batting line-up and their bowling attack is second to none.
Delhi might be tempted to bring back Sandeep Lamichhane in place of Keemo Paul in Sunday’s clash as the wicket might once again suit wrist spinners.
SRH: David Warner, Kane Williamson (c), Vijay Shankar, Manish Pandey, Mohammad Nabi, Yusuf Pathan, Sreevast Goswami, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma
DC: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Colin Ingram, Chris Morris, Axar Patel, Rahul Tewatia, Kagiso Rabada, Ishant Sharma, Sandeep Lamichhane
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As the IPL’s official partner, Dream11 runs a daily contest for each game apart from the default format which is conducted per round.
Here, we focus on helping you navigate your way through the form.
Chris Gayle – Kings XI Punjab (10.5 credits)
Despite the star-studded batting cast on offer on both sides, it is hard to look beyond Chris Gayle for the batting slot given his explosive half-century in his last match.
AB de Villiers has blown hot and cold for RCB while Virat Kohli has been steady but hardly spectacular. As such, Gayle, who has registered two quick-fire fifties already in the current edition, leads the charge with the bat.
The Jamaican veteran was in smashing form in KXIP’s narrow loss to Mumbai with an entertaining 36-ball 63. Gayle has a penchant for going on hot streaks once he gets going and the innings against Mumbai could drive him to touch even greater heights in the clash against Bangalore.
Yuzvendra Chahal – Royal Challengers Bangalore (9 credits)
Amidst the shambles that is RCB, one man has still been able to hold his own. That man is Yuzvendra Chahal with the India leg-spinner currently only behind Delhi’s Kagiso Rabada and Chennai’s Deepak Chahar in the wicket-taking charts.
The wrist-spinner has been Bangalore’s best player by far this season with his nine wickets in seven appearances coming at an economy-rate of less than seven runs an over.
Chahal can expect some help from the Mohali pitch which always has some bounce available for spinners to exploit and that should translate into some wickets and a fair amount of fantasy points.
Sam Curran – Kings XI Punjab (8.5 credits)
The England youngster was expected to struggle in subcontinent conditions despite being the most expensive overseas purchase in the 2019 auction. While he might not exactly be setting the stage alight, Curran sure has had his moments in his maiden IPL campaign.
The KXIP all-rounder has found opportunities hard to come by with the bat but he did play a fine quick-fire cameo against Delhi Capitals at the same venue. With the ball, Curran has picked up seven wickets so far with many of them coming at a crucial stage.
With an IPL hat-trick already under his belt, expect Curran to grow in confidence as the tournament progresses and that should see a substantial rise in his fantasy points contribution.
KL Rahul – Kings XI Punjab (10 credits)
There is no debate at all for the wicketkeeper’s slot with Punjab’s KL Rahul being a shoe-in based on current form.
The KXIP opener had an indifferent start to his campaign but has burst into life in the most recent clashes. Rahul’s last five innings in the IPL have yielded four scores above 50 with the latest of them being an unbeaten ton against Mumbai.
The right-hander is now only second to Hyderabad’s David Warner in the run-scoring charts and he will be eager to keep up this prolific form with India’s World Cup squad set to be announced on April 18.
CAPTAIN – KL Rahul
VICE CAPTAIN – Chris Gayle
Having been sent into bat first, Kolkata were able to muster 178-7 in their 20 overs before they saw Dhawan make a mockery of that total to take Delhi to a victory with seven balls still to spare.
The seven-wicket win not only helped the young Delhi side complete the double over KKR but it also propelled them into the top-four of the league table. It was also their first win at Eden Gardens since 2012.
GILL STANDS TALL AS RUSSELL REVELS
Joe Denly’s IPL debut ended with a golden duck as the England all-rounder’s stumps sent tumbling by Ishant Sharma off the very first delivery. However, Kolkata recovered quickly from that opening blow with a fine innings from young Shubman Gill.
The promising youngster had been subdued previously but he looked in excellent touch from the very start against Delhi in a stirring innings that culminated in a 34-ball half-century. The right-hander struck two sixes and seven boundaries in a 39-ball stay that fetched him 63 runs before Andre Russell took control at the middle.
The Windies all-rounder registered his sixth consecutive score of 40 plus as he added four more sixes to his burgeoning tournament tally. Russell’s 21-ball 45 and Gill’s second IPL fifty was the driving force behind Kolkata’s charge with the bat, which pattered out ultimately towards the end.
Shubman Gill...... 👀 .... What a future !! #IPL2019— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) April 12, 2019
DELHI REEL IT IN AFTER RUSSELL CHARGE
With Russell smashing the ball to all parts of the ground again in typical brute fashion, a score of over 200 seemed to be on the cards for KKR at one point. However, the visitors fought back in the latter overs with some important wickets that took the sting out of Kolkata’s attack.
It all started with the dismissal of Gill in the 15th over with the youngster’s sweetly struck shot going straight into the hands of Hershal Patel. Then, Chris Morris ended Russell’s stay in the next over with a wide full-toss which the Windies man could only smash into Kagiso Rabada’s hands in the deep.
Rabada then struck with the ball himself to dismiss the dangerous Dinesh Karthik cheaply while Carlos Brathwaite was unable to impress with the bat in his first outing of the season. Those late wickets cost the hosts probably around 15 to 20 runs and that proved to be their undoing in the end.
DHAWAN’S EXPERIENCE COMES TO THE FORE
Although slightly under par, a chase of 178 was not going to be a straightforward one for Delhi but veteran Dhawan made it look like a walk in the park in the end.
The experienced opener produced his best-ever IPL display with an unbeaten knock of 97 (63) that completely deflated Kolkata’s strong bowling attack.
Young Prithvi Shaw and Shreyas Iyer had very brief stays at the crease but Dhawan was seeing the ball like a football at the other end with his blade doing all the talking. The left-hander found the ideal foil in Rishabh Pant and the duo stitched together a 105-run stand in no time to all but seal victory for Delhi.
Pant departed after an entertaining 31-ball 46 but Dhawan would not be tied down with the opener continuing to belt out the boundaries at will. Dhawan was unlucky to be left stranded three runs short of a maiden IPL ton as Colin Ingram finished off the match in the penultimate over with a fine six.
Shikhar Dhawan's innings today isn't just a shot in the arm for #DelhiCapitals. It bodes well for India too. He needed the runs.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 12, 2019
Kolkata Knight Riders: 178-7
Shubman Gill: 63 (39)
Andre Russell: 45 (21)
Delhi Capitals: 180-3
Shikhar Dhawan: 97 not out (63)
Rishabh Pant: 46 (31)