Shaky Sunrisers Hyderabad in the way as Delhi Capitals look for hat-trick of wins

Source: cricinfo

by SportsDiction – 29, September, 2020

Even before the start of IPL 2020, it seemed the lack of experience in the middle order could be a headache for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Two games into the season, things are not looking any rosier with the team still searching for their first points.

It doesn’t help that their opponents on Tuesday would be the Delhi Capitals, who have one of the most balanced bowling attacks in the tournament. Despite two first-choice bowlers – Ishant Sharma and R Ashwin – being unavailable, the Capitals strangled the Chennai Super Kings on Friday to register their second win in as many matches. Kagiso Rabada was once again in the forefront with the ball, while Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant all scored good runs to put behind the wobbly start against the Kings XI Punjab. Their main pre-tournament hole, the lack of a finisher, also seems to have been plugged by Marcus Stoinis.

The Sunrisers, on the other hand, are yet to figure out their best XI. With David Warner and Jonny Bairstow opening the innings and Manish Pandey coming in at No. 3, Priyam Garg is forced to bat out of position. After a bad back ruled Vijay Shankar out for the match against the Kolkata Knight Riders, the Sunrisers tried Wriddhiman Saha, but his laboured 31-ball 30 failed to provide any confidence. It will not be a surprise, therefore, if they make further changes to their playing XI.

In the news
Since hurting his left elbow against the Kings XI, Ashwin has hit the gym and also batted in the nets, but the Capitals will not rush him back. “Ashwin is doing pretty well, but we want to give him a two-three game rest so that he feels better,” Iyer had said at the toss against the Super Kings. Also, there has been no official word on Ishant Sharma’s fitness after he went out because of back spasms.

The extent of Shankar’s back problem is not fully known, but if fit, he should replace Saha in the playing XI for the Sunrisers. Kane Williamson, though, may once again find it difficult to break in despite being available.

Stats that matter
The Sunrisers lead the head-to-head record with 9-6. But this new look Capitals side have a 2-1 record against them, including a win in the Eliminator of IPL 2019.

Pant is yet to hit a six in T20s this year. Also, he has now gone 60 balls without a six in the IPL, his longest streak.

Rabada has taken two or more wickets in each of his last nine IPL games, the most for any bowler in the tournament’s history. Last time he went wicketless in an IPL game was 16 matches ago.

Khan and Mohammad Nabi head the list of most frugal bowlers in the IPL since 2019, with economies of 6.4 and 6.5 respectively (minimum 20 overs).

Since IPL 2019, Kumar has taken just 13 wickets in 17 innings in the tournament. However, in the same period, he has taken six wickets in three games against the Capitals.

Among those who have taken at least 20 wickets in the IPL since 2018, Khaleel Ahmed’s strike rate of 12.2 is second only to Rabada’s 11.