Delhi Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer
Delhi Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer Image Credit: PTI

Dubai: The high-octane clash between Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL Eliminator in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday is likely to be a treat for the fans.

Delhi have already won the hearts with their newfound spirit to prove themselves. They had changed their name from Delhi Daredevils — wanting to change its fortunes too and have proved that they mean business this time. A lot would depend on how their young 24-year-old skipper Shreyas Iyer, who has already become the darling of many fans, guide the side intelligently and also play another match-winning knock.

Delhi will have to get past this hurdle to become the new finalist and also become the new champions of the IPL as they never reached the title-round. A 24-year-old lifting the IPL will be a triumph of the millions of young budding cricketers, who also dream like Iyer to earn laurels at a very young age. The team also boasts of India’s future wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, who like Iyer, is out to prove that he is special.

Guiding the youngsters, though not as a leader, is Shikhar Dhawan, who has already piled up 486 runs from 14 games. It will be interesting to see whether young top order batsman Prithvi Shaw also rises to the challenge.

The bowling looks well-rounded, despite having taken a big blow at the departure of Kagiso Rabada. All eyes will be on pacers Trent Boult and experienced Ishant Sharma as well as leg-spinner Amit Mishra and left-arm spinner Axar Patel. Mishra is among the most respected bowlers in the IPL and can cause enough damage. They are also blessed with two greats as motivators — coach Ricky Ponting and adviser Sourav Ganguly.

Hyderabad seems to have overcome the loss of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow, mainly due to their skipper Kane Williamson’s inspiring form. If Williamson continues to fire and also if Wriddhiman Saha, Martin Guptill and Manish Pandey can sparkle at the top, Delhi may find it tough. Vijay Shankar in the middle too can lift them to a good score or chase any target.

Hyderabad’s bowling strength is equally impressive with pacer Khaleel Ahmad proving to be deadly and backed by two Afghanistan spinners in Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi. Khan, who has not been able to make an impact like last year, can make a big difference in his four overs.

The two teams have clashed 14 times and Hyderabad had won nine games with Delhi wining the other five. The re-branded Delhi this season had finished third with nine wins and 18 points and Hyderabad had only six wins and 12 points like Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab but made it to the play-offs due to their superior run-rate.

Can Hyderabad make their fortuitous entry (on run-rate) into last four count or Delhi can continue to pull of another win? One has to wait and watch!