Delhi Capitals find themselves fighting to stay alive in the competition after a dramatic turnaround in form but all they need is just another win to reach their maiden in Indian Premier League. However, it's easier said than done as they take on a high-flying Sunrisers Hyderabad in Qualifier 2 in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Delhi Capitals looked like the team to beat in the first half of IPL 2020. With Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje coming to the party ably supported by their spin twins in R Ashwin and Axar Patel and an in-form batting unit, Delhi won 6 of their first 9 matches. However, their form tapered off as they lost 4 on the trot and were in danger of missing out on a play-offs berth. Thanks to their win over Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Capitals sealed a spot in the top 2.
The top 2 cushion, it seems, was necessary for Delhi Capitals who are struggling to find the right combination with quite a few of their big gun misfiring at the crucial stage of their campaign. They were handed a 59-run defeat by defending champions Mumbai Indians who took the shortest route to the November 10 final.
On the other hand, Sunrisers Hyderabad have had a contrasting route to the final Sunday of IPL 2020. Marred by injury concerns, Sunrisers struggled for momentum, losing 6 of their first 9 matches. However, David Warner and his men have turned it around emphatically, winning their last 4 matches to reach Qualifier 2. SRH were facing an uphill battle as they needed to beat the top 3 sides on the table to reach the play-offs. They did so and pulled off a thrilling chase against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday to avoid elimination.
If recent form is anything to go by, Sunrisers Hyderabad are clear favourites. However, the format of the IPL is such that all it needs is a good performance on the given day in the knockout stages to reverse fortunes and mount a title challenge.
Quite a few concerns for Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals though need to fix a lot of holes and they have had very little time to get it right. Prithvi Shaw at the top has been a disaster for the Capitals in the recent matches and Ajinkya Rahane has been a hit and miss. Captain Shreyas Iyer seems to have lost touch while wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant is looking confused.
Delhi's batting line-up looks heavily reliant on Shikhar Dhawan and Marcus Stoinis and there is a chance that these two might open the batting on Sunday. However, playing Stoinis at the top to fix the problems at the top can weaken their middle-order more. Delhi might consider playing Shimron Hetmyer back in place of Daniel Sams, who leaked aplenty against Mumbai Indians.
"It's never too late, and we'll see to it that we come back strongly," Shreyas Iyer had said after their defeat to Mumbai Indians. Can Delhi script a turnaround?
Standing in their way are Sunrisers Hyderabad who are finding new heroes every match to keep their late charge going.
Will Wriddhiman Saha be back for Sunrisers?
David Warner has found his mojo back at the top but the outcome of his battle against in-form R Ashwin can set the tone for the rest of the match. Also, SRH might miss Wriddhiman Saha again after he missed the game against Mumbai Indians. SRH will hope Sreevats Goswami comes up with a better effort with the bat to take pressure of the middle-order.
Kane Williamson and Jason Holder have been two pillars of support for Sunrisers Hyderabad. The two got together to help SRH get past the finish line in a tricky chase. They will once again be in focus as Sunrisers will need their middle order to step up.
Despite lacking big names, Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling attack looks more well-rounded at the moment. Rashid Khan is going to be a big threat at the Zayed Stadium as Delhi Capitals will be under immense pressure if they lose early wickets and face the Afghanistan spin wizard.
Delhi Capitals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad: Team News
It remains to be seen if Wrddihiman Saha can make a return to the playing XI as his availability will strengthen the SRH batting unit. SRH are unlikely to make any changes even if Saha is not available. Delhi Capitals, on the other hand, have the option of dropping Prithvi Shaw and Daniel Sams to bring in Shimron Hetmyer and Harshal Patel. Will give they an opportunity to the highly-talented Keemo Paul?
What happened when DC and SRH met earlier?
Well, Sunrisers Hyderabad have managed to win both their previous meetings. In their latest meeting, Saha and Warner took the DC bowlers to the cleaners as they stitched an opening stand of 107 in just 9.4 overs to help SRH post 219. SRH won that encounter by 88 runs.