Dubai: It will be bit of a journey into the unknown for Delhi Capitals as they face off with Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Shaikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.The Shreyas Iyer-led team will be travelling to the UAE capital for the first time where the nature of the wicket may keep them guessing.
The Capitals will be in a far better frame of mind after wins in both their first two matches while the onus will be on Sunrisers to arrest the slide after two losses on the trot. The early momentum, as the history of IPL has often shown, is crucial to a team’s campaign and the Orange Army must be wracking their brains to find a solution to some of their obvious problems.
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Asked about any feedback about the nature of the track in Abu Dhabi, where the Kolkata Knight Riders spinners did a fine job of throttling David Warner & Co on Saturday, veteran Capitals leg spinner Amit Sharma was guarded enough. ‘‘We cannot really comment unless we see the wicket. It could be on the slower side, but we will see,’’ said Mishra, the second highest wicket-taker in the history of IPL after Lasith Malinga with 157 wickets.
Mishra, who ran impressive figures of 4-0-23-0 during their last win against Chennai Super Kings, got in a look-in as their leading spinner Ravi Ashwin was still not in a position to play after hurting his shoulder badly in their first match against Kings XI Punjab. Replying to a query at the media conference through zoom on Monday, Mishra said the off spinner’s injury was not serious. ‘‘It’s not a big injury. He (Ashwin) bowled at the nets the other day and will be bowling at the practice this evening before the team management takes a call,’’ he said.
If Delhi had looked one of the most balanced teams in the league which is now in it’s second week, David Warner’s men had showed quite a few chinks in their armour. There is a serious lack of depth in their middle order which saw Wridhhiman Saha coming out to bat at No.4 and despite his best efforts, could not really force the pace on the Abu Dhabi surface.
There is a strong possibility of New Zealand captain Kane Williamson making his way into the playing XI - and it will make the top order look a different proposition together with Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Manish Pandey and him. Asked if the Delhi think tank is making any separate plans for Williamson, a wonderful player of slow bowling, Mishra said: ‘‘There has to be a plan for everybody in the opposition. Any one player can change the complexion of the game, as you saw with (Rahul) Tewatia for Rajasthan Royals last night.’’
The other issue before the 2016 champions Hyderabad, who were always good in defending even smaller totals, is that their new ball attack lacked teeth and were relying a bit too much on Bhubaneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan. It will be interesting to see what plan Trevor Bayliss, the head coach with two IPL trophies in the bag (both with KKR), has in store for the day.
Catch the match
Delhi Capitals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad
Venue: Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Start: 6 pm UAE
Live telecast on Bein Sports