A struggling Sunrisers Hyderabad outfit will be itching to notch up their first points on the IPL 2020 points table when they clash against table-toppers Delhi Capitals in match 11 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium later today.
SRH's issues have only compounded with every game, with the David Warner-led side struggling to find some inspiration post their 10-run loss to the Royal Challengers Bangalore followed by a massive 7-wicket loss against the Kolkata Knight Riders.
The Capitals, on the other hand, have ticked all the boxes so far and as a result, they sit pretty atop the IPL 2020 points table with two wins from as many matches.
The steely resolve among the Capitals' players was on display during their thrilling Super Over win over the Kings XI Punjab, before a stunning batting display in Sharjah earned them a 16-run win over three-time champions, CSK.
With two sides on opposite ends of the points table hungry to pick up a win for different reasons, we're in for an exciting Delhi v Hyderabad clash today.
IPL 2020: DC v KXIP match prediction
There's no doubt that SRH have a lot of gaping holes that need to be sorted out, and fast. The batting unit barring the top three of skipper Warner, Jonny Bairstow and Manish Pandey is a major concern, an issue that could be exposed against DC's strong bowling unit tonight.
SRH have New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson warming the benches and stroking his beard as he waits for his chances, but there's also the case of Mohammed Nabi not doing much wrong to warrant his exclusion after just one game.
We're only 10 matches into the season but the performances of youngsters such as Devdutt Padikkal, Prithvi Shaw, and Shubman Gill have shown that backing youngsters could reap rewards.
And, while the philosophy of 'backing youngsters' fits into SRH's theory like a hand in a glove, the young duo of Priyam Garg and Abhishek Sharma have been forced to bat at No.5 or after, giving them no time to settle down and get a feel of the conditions.
Perhaps, Garg's promotion to No.3, if SRH want to persist with Nabi as an all-rounder, could be a good move to ease the pressure on Manish Pandey as well. Moreover, an injury to Vijay Shankar did not help as Wriddhiman Saha laboured his way to a 31-ball 30 against KKR. The middle-overs scoring has been a problem for SRH, and they will need to find a solution to that as well.
As for their bowling, Bhuvneshwar Kumar's wicketless returns have dented SRH's plans a fair bit, with skipper Warner having to rely on Rashid Khan quite a lot in the last two games. If SRH are to challenge the strong DC batting unit today, the Bhuvneshwar-Rashid combination will need to come to the fore.
Shreyas Iyer, on the other hand, has plenty of resources at his disposal, bearing fruit of the efforts put in by the team management at the IPL 2020 player auction.
Good starts for Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan during DC's previous encounter against CSK adds more confidence to the unit, and the only problem, if any, is Shimron Hetmyer's poor returns.
However, the West Indian did not get a hit against CSK, and the Capitals might not want to tinker with a winning combination, despite constant clamouring for the inclusion of Ajinkya Rahane.
On the bowling front, the pace duo of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje have combined splendidly well, and considering the economical of Axar Patel and Amit Mishra, DC will be a pleased bunch.
Overall, if SRH's first two matches are anything to go by, they've got many areas to plug ahead of their clash against DC. And, with the table-toppers putting up complete performances so far, one can expect them to extend their stay at the top with a win today.
Prediction: Delhi Capitals to win today.Published 29 Sep 2020, 10:33 IST