The story of Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad this year has been very different. DC under the Shreyas Iyer-Ricky Ponting combination have been very consistent and different players have stepped in and performed in each game. They have been led brilliantly by Shreyas Iyer.
The team management’s decision to back a core team of 11-13 players, and not chop and change the team around too much has paved way for success. Delhi Capitals have managed to reach the playoffs after a gap of seven years and can be extremely proud of their performance so far in IPL 2019.
SRH on the other hand has mainly been about Jonny Bairstow and David Warner. The other batsmen barring Manish Pandey have been far too inconsistent and the bowling attack hasn’t been very threatening like previous seasons.
They had a rather poor season for a team that made the finals last year by just winning six games in the league stage. The performances of KKR, KXIP and RR meant that SRH had a better NRR scraped through to the playoffs.
Now that they have made it to the eliminator they should fancy themselves as they know how to win in such big games as compared to a Delhi franchise who has made this far after a gap of seven years.
Keeping their performances in the league stage in mind and the conditions expected at Vizag, here’s looking at one player from each team who can make a difference to their team’s success:
Shikhar Dhawan for Delhi Capitals
The left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan had a rather slow start to IPL 2019. But he’s come into his own in the last 5-6 games. He has set up the innings brilliantly when DC have batted first or chased totals.
There were rather huge expectations from the experienced Shikhar Dhawan as he was roped in by the Delhi Capitals to provide the calmness and give the young, attacking batting line-up the experience they needed. And he has delivered on that expectation.
His attacking presence at the top has helped the likes of Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant to have a pretty good season so far. He himself has accumulated 486 runs in 14 games with an impressive strike-rate of 137.28. He also has hit five fifties this season.
Having been part of SRH in previous few seasons, Shikhar would certainly know what it takes to win in such high-pressure games. It’s this experience along with him being in good hitting form that can help Delhi Capitals defeat SRH tonight.
Rashid Khan for Sunrisers Hyderabad
Someone who is used to running oppositions down, Rashid Khan has had a quiet IPL this year. Opposition teams have understood that it’s a better ploy playing out his quota rather than look to attack him. It’s a tactic that has worked well thus far.
Among the big factors why SRH just won six games in the league stage has been the lack of penetration from their bowlers. Bhuvi has been good but hasn’t been able to get wickets when it’s required. The inclusion of Khaleel Ahmed hasn’t certainly helped them.
But you can not keep someone as prolific and talented as Rashid Khan quiet for too long. He has played in high pressure contest like this before and would look to bring that confidence into tonight’s clash.
He has bagged 15 wickets in IPL 2019 so far, but a match-winning performance from the talented Afghani could be round the corner. DC should not take him lightly and also, they should be weary of Rashid Khan’s strong arm from the boundary and his ability to clear the boundaries coming in the death overs.
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