We are one-third into the IPL already and there’s one team that’s sort of lingering around and could just prove to be a thorn in the side of a few teams are the Delhi Daredevils who meet the Sunrisers Hyderabad in their back yard. Suneer Chowdhary is all set with his preview and analysis and Shruti Chopra is ready with her prediction. Have a listen to their conversation or read excerpts of it here.
These two teams are coming off an interesting result, Suneer… potentially could make for a cracker of a contest?
What we have seen in this edition of the competition so far has been that there’s not been a string of high-scoring encounters; almost invariably every other match has pushed the batsmen into adjusting to the surface and that was the case for both these teams – the Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Delhi Daredevils. Hyderabad scored 159 and defended that in a thriller, Delhi made 168 but saw Kolkata need 19.5 overs to get to the total in another photo-finish. Hopefully, these two can deliver another lip-smacking contest!
Something is telling me, that’s how it’ll be.. let’s start with the Sunrisers Hyderabad – they looked to have gone off the boil with successive defeats, but that win over the Kings XI Punjab should do them a word of good. Bhvuneshwar Kumar was absolutely brilliant!
He was and so was David Warner…I will get to Bhuvi in a minute but in that melee of that close encounter, we must not forget how well Warner batted to score an unbeaten 70 off 54 deliveries. At various points in the innings, he looked like he was struggling with the pitch and probably with the weather too – he ran about 30 runs of his own and some of his partners too – but he stuck it out and pushed the side up to 159, that looked par for the course on that surface. As far as Bhuvi is concerned, his rise has been phenomenal – he was one of those seamers who swung them at around 125 km/hr and was an effective new ball bowler – then he suffered an ankle injury and when he returned his pace had increased to over 130 clicks but boy, had he lost his movement or what. Over the last few months what we have seen is Bhuvi not only get up to speeds of 135-140 km/hr but also get them to swing with the new ball and then get those very full balls, those yorkers in when the ball has gotten old. And that’s what he did against Punjab as well – a wicket off the first ball, of the great Hashim Amla set things up and after that, it was the Bhuvi show for the Sunrisers.
And that augurs well for not only the Sunrisers but also Team India who will be flying to the UK for the Champions Trophy…you had spoken about Rashid Khan and how things might get difficult for him once teams start reading him a tad. Was that the case in the last game?
Manan Vohra, for one, did read him excellently and took him on rather well – Rashid conceded 42 from his four. But later in the innings, it was those two wickets in the one over from Rashid Khan that blew the Punjab innings away, showing his class. He still is a champion bowler and not everyone will find it easy to take him on, especially not at the start of the innings, and when the pressure is on, like in the case of a chase. But even in the game between the Surisers and Kolkata, Robin Uthappa had taken on Rashid nicely and got away and now Manan has done the same. Not surprisingly, both are Indian batsmen, decent players of spin, must have done their work on how to play Rashid and got away to those scores. Early days but I will be most interested in watching Rashid’s battles against Indian batsmen…
…and that brings me to Delhi and their Indian batsmen. The whole of that top-order is replete with Indian batsmen. You should have your wish!
I should, no doubt. Sanju Samson has looked good timing the ball, Rishabh Pant’s aggro down the order has worked well for him and then there’s Shreyas Iyer who will want to come good after returning to the playing XI following his chicken-pox. And all these could well have a battle among themselves around taking on Rashid Khan, who will look to get his own back after that lashing last game. All in all a fascinating contest…
You didn’t mention Karun Nair in your list, why is that?
Well, given how Manan Vohra had scores of 14, 34, 28 and 3 before that masterful knock of 95, I am hopeful Karun Nair will turn things around for himself and come out all guns firing but by the looks of things, life has been a struggle for Nair, the batsman, ever since that triple-century against England in Chennai. In the 13 innings since that triple-century, Nair has had scores ranging from 0 to 28 including a 27-ball 21 against the Kolkata Knight Riders yesterday which sapped the entire innings of its momentum. It was a batsman shorn of confidence and I wouldn’t be surprised he is getting near to getting dropped from the side – might have a chance or two left.
And who replaces him if Nair does get that break?
There’s Aditya Tare who could return to the side but he didn’t look comfortable in his earlier stint while there’s Maharashtra batsman Ankit Bawane who will be looking for his chance but even his lead-up to the IPL wasn’t the best while playing in List A and T20 games for his state and zonal sides. Unfortunately, this is where Delhi are probably missing a quality overseas batsman, having brought in Ben Hilfenhaus to replace the injured JP Duminy and Quinton de Kock – had that had that option, they could have brought in someone like, say an Alex Hales, and dropped an Angelo Mathews or Pat Cummins to try and bolster their batting.
Any other changes for the two sides?
For Hyderabad, Ben Cutting had been dropped last match to bring in a second spinner in Mohammad Nabi and he did a fairly good job, finishing with figures of 1/28 from his four overs. But one of the reasons he was brought in was to counter the left-handed batsmen from Punjab, which isn’t the case in the Delhi line-up, it’s stacked with righties. So Cutting could return, or we might see Mustafizur Rahman. For Delhi, Shahbaz Nadeem needs to play all games – form of his life over the last couple of seasons and Delhi opted to drop him for a seamer. And if that means Shami or Cummins will need to be dropped, then so be it. Corey Anderson, if fit, could come back too for Angelo Mathews who was nearly non-existent in the previous game.
Now Shruti, we haven’t spoken about what the cards reveal. For the Sunrisers, what are the troubling factors that stand out for you?
During this game against Delhi, I find their opening partnership to be most troubling – they may need to make some changes to their line up, otherwise, an individual will get stuck with reviving and propelling the innings in the middle overs and in the end. Now two more troubling issues, one being patchy fielding, the second could be overly generous bowling because frankly, Delhi’s batsmen may give some easy opportunities, but to not take them could prove to be detrimental.
I’ve said so many negatives – but one major positive is that they will be led well, so despite the issues, David Warner should have the ability and luck to be able to pull a rabbit out of the hat!
How do you see Delhi perform in this match up?
I find Delhi to be quite neck and neck on this one. Delhi appear to understand how and when to charge ahead and when to just wait a little. Since I spoke of Hyderabad’s negatives, I’ll mention what I see for Delhi. I believe their batting takes way too many risks and although this will generate a good overall run rate, but they could have a patch where they feel stifled. Another issue could be getting defensive a little too quickly despite getting some early wickets. But in general, the bowlers will do a commendable job and in fact so should the fielding.
Who do your cards go with?
There isn’t too much difference in the teams, but I feel consistency on the day is with Delhi which is why it’s tarot advantage: Delhi Daredevils.