Dubai: It’s approaching the end of the Indian Premier League group stage and every point counts for most teams. Things will be no different in Dubai on Tuesday as the Sunrisers Hyderabad take on the Delhi Capitals, who are all but qualified for the play-offs.
Delhi will be looking at completing some unfinished business and ending the group stage on a high, beginning with Hyderabad.
Delhi succumbed to back-to-back defeats against the Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab in their last encounters. But, with two more points on offer on Tuesday, the Shreyas Iyer-led side will be looking to shrug off those losses and return to the top of the eight-team standings as prime position means an easier path in the play-offs.
On the other hand, the Sunrisers’ hopes of reaching the playoffs are hanging by a thread. David Warner and his men are in seventh place and just above former three-time champions Chennai Super Kings with eight points from 11 matches.
Their task hereon is rather simple, yet quite tricky as Hyderabad must win all three remaining matches and then wait to see if other results go their way.
But, the Capitals need not worry too much as their batting line-up — particularly opener Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Iyer — has been delivering time and again. After struggling for some consistency in earlier games, the Capitals have had different players come to the party on various occasions to make one of the stronger teams in IPL 2020.
The Capitals’ bowling, meanwhile, has been consistent and calm. Led by the South African duo of Kagiso Rabada (currently with the Purple Cap with 23 wickets) and Anrich Nortje (14 wickets), Axar Patel has done well to choke the run flow. The support bowlers such as Ravichandran Ashwin and Tushar Deshpande have been on and off, and will definitely be looking for some added consistency to turn the Capitals into a true tournament winner.
Not everything is well with the Sunrisers. The Warner-led side head into the clash after a demoralising loss that saw their strong-looking battling line-up fail to chase down a modest 127 against Kings XI Punjab last week.
The Hyderabad team were doing well in their chase until the departure in quick succession of Warner and Jonny Bairstow. What followed was a lesson in self-destruction as the former champions lost five wickets in the final two overs and suffered a humiliating defeat.
The Sunrisers have a pretty good bowling unit that includes Rashid Khan, among others. But, following the departure of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, they have struggled despite the inclusion of West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder.
Perhaps, the lone ray of hope for the Sunrisers could be that they had defeated the Capitals in their previous encounter earlier this season.