Having been stunned by Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Capitals are still waiting to confirm their play-off berth in IPL 2020. With 14 points from 11 matches, they are just one win away from qualifying for the next round for the second year in a row. DC would be keen to overcome the Sunrisers Hyderabad challenge in game 47 of IPL 2020 at Dubai on Tuesday and seal their play-off spot.
Hyderabad too remain in contention to qualify. But they have made life extremely difficult for themselves by faltering in a chase of 127 against Kings XI Punjab in their previous encounter. With eight points from 11 matches, their chances of making the IPL 2020 playoffs now hang by a thread.
In the head-to-head battle, SRH have won 10 out of 16 games against Delhi. Hyderabad also overcame DC the last time these two sides met in IPL 2020.
As the two sides prepare to face off again, here are three key player battles that can have a major impact on the match.
#1. Shikhar Dhawan vs Sandeep Sharma
Putting behind an average start, Delhi opener Shikhar Dhawan has turned his IPL 2020 into a sensational one. How much Delhi have come to depend on the southpaw became evident against KKR as their batting crumbled following Dhawan’s cheap dismissal.
With scores of 69 not out, 57, 101 not out and 106 not out in four of his last five innings, Dhawan has been absolutely sensational. In the first half of IPL 2020, his slow strike rate was a worry, but he has lifted it tremendously to 148.11.
SRH medium pacer Sandeep Sharma has had a mixed run in IPL 2020. He has been highly effective at times, and mediocre at others. The same reflects in his numbers this season. In eight matches, he has claimed six wickets at a strike rate of 32 and a economy rate of 7.56. But on days when he has got it right, Sharma has made a significant impact.
He has the ability to tie down the batsmen and force mistakes in them. In the match against CSK, he sent back Sam Curran and Faf du Plessis with excellent deliveries. And in the most recent encounter against KXIP, he impressed with 2 for 29. Dhawan will look to attack him to tackle the threat posed by Sharma. That will also give the bowler a chance to have his say.
#2. Jonny Bairstow vs Kagiso Rabada
SRH opener Jonny Bairstow made an impressive start to IPL 2020 with an aggressive 61 against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Hyderabad’s first match of the season. However, he played a horrible slog to be clean bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal, and SRH went on to lose the contest by 10 runs from a position of strength.
The defeat set a pattern for SRH in IPL 2020 as they have lost a few more games after coming close, including the most recent defeat to KXIP. Bairstow’s form too has dipped following his 97 against Punjab on October 8. Considering how heavily SRH depend on Bairstow, it will be imperative for him to make an impression if SRH seek to upset Delhi again. He was the top-scorer with 53 the last time these two teams met in IPL 2020.
Even as Delhi have faltered in the last two matches, their pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada has continued with his wicket-taking ways in IPL 2020. He picked up 2 for 27 against KXIP, dismissing Nicholas Pooran and Glenn Maxwell, and added the scalps of Dinesh Karthik and Sunil Narine against KKR.
His wicket-taking spree has already seen him capture 23 wickets in 11 matches at a strike rate of 11.39 and an economy of 7.64. Thus, Rabada has proved to be doubly dangerous for the opposition, picking up wickets at will and keeping the runs down as well.
KKR skipper Eoin Morgan is the only one to have attacked Rabada with success in IPL 2020. Bairstow too can be unorthodox like his English skipper. But taking on Rabada will be one massive task for him.
#3. Shreyas Iyer vs Rashid Khan
DC skipper Shreyas Iyer has blown hot and cold in IPL 2020. He made a stupendous 88 not out from 38 balls against KKR early in the tournament and also added a fifty against Rajasthan Royals later. On most other occasions though it has been case of getting in and getting out for Iyer.
His shot selection too has been disappointing a few times. However, there is little doubt that Iyer has the talent to make amends. With DC still looking to confirm their play-off berth, Iyer would be keen to play a captain’s innings and lift them into the next round.
For SRH, leg-spinner Rashid Khan has once again been the standout performer in IPL 2020. Combining guile with variations, Rashid has claimed 14 wickets in 11 games at a strike rate of 18.85 and an exceptional economy rate of 5.29. The numbers reflect how Rashid has tied down opposition batsmen and has been rewarded handsomely for the same.
DC skipper Iyer is known to be an excellent player of spin. But it is also equally true that he can be trapped into playing false strokes. Murugan Ashwin and Varun Chakravarthy have done so successfully against Iyer. Can Rashid make it a hat-trick of dismissals against spin for the DC skipper?Published 27 Oct 2020, 14:49 IST