New Delhi: In a format such as the Indian Premier League (IPL), momentum always plays an important role. While a team on a roll can make the impossible look regular, teams which haven’t managed to hit the right note can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Going into match 16 of the league, while Sunrisers Hyderabad are definitely on a roll, Delhi Capitals need to buck up.
They have had a change in name, but Delhi Capitals’ fortunes have been topsy-turvy as ever. Having started off in style against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium, Delhi lost to Chennai at home, sneaked a win in the Super Over against Kolkata and then lost again to Kings XI Punjab in a game that was almost sealed.
Consistency has been the biggest problem for the franchise and even though they have done well in patches, Delhi have failed to drive home the advantage from positions of strength in both their losses so far. In fact, even in the game against KKR, they made an easy chase look difficult, almost ended up losing and finally managed a tie before Kagiso Rabada bowled a beautiful over.
For Hyderabad, it has been about growing from strength to strength. After losing the opening game to Kolkata from a winning position, the Sunrisers regrouped and came back strongly. While their first win against Rajasthan Royals was a good game of cricket, they decimated Royal Challengers Bangalore in their third game.
Riding on centuries from David Warner and Jonny Bairstow, Sunrisers put on 231/2 from their 20 overs before bundling out RCB for just 113. The 118-run win will definitely fire-up the team when they walk into the game at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Thursday.
The Kotla wicket has remained low and slow and it could be a battle of spinners. But in that case, it will again be Rashid Khan and in-form Mohammad Nabi, who will hold the edge against hosts Delhi.
While DC also have quality spinners in their ranks in Amit Mishra, Axar Patel, Sandip Lamichhane among others, SRH clearly hold the edge.
In batting too, DC have flattered to deceive in both their last two games. Chasing a target of 185 against KKR, the Delhi batsmen were almost cruising home before losing the plot and managing to squeeze in a tie. And again in the game against KXIP, they lost 7 wickets for just 8 runs and snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
The middle-order needs to be a lot more consistent. Though Rishabh Pant has shown great form, he needs to finish games for DC. At the top as well, senior pro Shikhar Dhawan needs to show more application and positive attitude. With a quality bowler like Bhuvneshwar Kumar set to take the new ball for SRH, it is important that Dhawan holds fort for Delhi.