Following contrasting runs in the Indian leg this edition, Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad face-off eying a common goal of resuming their Indian Premier League campaign with a victory in Dubai.
If the numbers from the previous editions are pointers to the future, then teams target 16 points to reach the playoffs in an eight-team field. Going by that indicator, DC is just two wins away from playoffs while SRH needs seven victories in as many matches to make the grade.
With the teams returning after more than four and a half months, players will have to find their form. Last time the teams met, DC won in Super Over. Since then, SRH lost two more matches even as Kane Williamson replaced David Warner as skipper, three days before IPL was
postponed in May.
DC, with quality players in all departments, will start as the favourite. The return of Shreyas Iyer lends further solidity to the side that is looking to do one better than its runner-up finish in
Dubai last year.
SRH, let down by its bowlers so far, will look to a fully fit Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul, and options like all-rounders Jason Holder, Mohammad Nabi, Vijay Shankar and Kedar Jadhav, to justify their reputation.
The SRH batting, relying heavily on Warner and Williamson, will miss wicketkeeper-opener Jonny Bairstow. This brings a chance to Wriddhiman Saha to play in the top order. In the otherwise brittle middle-order, Manish Pandey’s utility can never be undermined.