Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) will take on Delhi Capitals (DC) in Qualifier 2 of IPL 2020 at Abu Dhabi on Sunday. SRH will have the upper hand having won five of their last six matches, including the Eliminator against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
DC, on the other hand, have only tasted victory in one of their last six matches. They were very poor in the first Qualifier against Mumbai Indians, which they lost by 57 runs.
Another factor that would give SRH a lot of confidence when they face DC in Qualifier 2 is the fact that David Warner’s men got the better of Delhi in both the league encounters of IPL 2020, first by 15 runs and then by 88 runs.
Delhi will have to pull up their socks in Qualifier 2 if they want to progress to the final against Mumbai Indians. Meanwhile, here are three weaknesses in DC that SRH can exploit to clear their path to IPL 2020 final.
3 weaknesses in DC that SRH can exploit
#1. Fragile top three
This is a massive source of worry for DC, and one of the main reasons why they haven’t been consistent of late. The trio of Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw and Ajinkya Rahane will need to lift their game in Qualifier 2 against SRH. Else, Delhi might as well say goodbye to IPL 2020.
Dhawan may be among the top run-getters in IPL 2020 with 525 runs from 15 games. However, his great run of form seems like a thing of the past. In his last five innings, the left-hander has only produced 60 runs, and has failed to open his account on three occasions.
The young Prithvi Shaw began the tournament in impressive fashion with two fifties, but has single been a walking wicket. Shaw has only managed 228 runs from 13 visits to the crease. His highest knock in his last seven innings has been a mere 10. Three times he has failed to open his account.
The story is no different with Ajinkya Rahane. He only has 111 runs to show from seven innings. Apart from the 60 against RCB in the last league match, Rahane hasn’t done anything of note. His first four knocks in IPL 2020 saw him produce scores of 15,2,8 and 0, and he added another blob in the first Qualifier against Mumbai. DC with either have to take a risk and make some changes at the top of the order in Qualifier 2 or hope for the misfiring players to fire.
#2. Muddled mindset of Iyer and Pant
Unlike Shaw and Rahane, the middle-order duo of skipper Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant have not looked completely out of sorts. Their problems have been more in the mind. Both have been caught between the devil and the deep sea. To explain it in cricketing parlance, they have been unsure of when to attack and when to defend as wickets have been falling cheaply constantly at the top of the order.
Iyer has played a number of ordinary shots to give his wicket away after getting a start. Being the leader, he will need to lift his game on the big occasion. While 433 runs in 15 games are decent numbers, the fact that Iyer hasn’t reached fifty in his last seven innings is a cause of concern for sure ahead of Qualifier 2.
As for Pant, he has only 285 runs from 12 matches despite getting opportunities to come in early following quick loss of wickets. His strike rate, which is his greatest asset, has been a poor 109.61. Neither has Pant been able to break free nor has he succeeded in the role of self-appointed anchor. The left-hander’s release shot, the slog sweep, has also found the fielders more often than not.
#3. No back up for Rabada-Nortje
In the bowling department, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje have done a splendid job for DC barring a couple of games, which includes the Qualifier against Mumbai in which both were taken for plenty without getting a wicket. In the overall analysis, Rabada is second on the IPL 2020 wicket-takers list with 25 scalps from 15 games. Nortje too is at number six with 20 wickets from 14 games.
When it comes to the third seamer though, the South African duo have found little in the form of support. Daniel Sams has been wicketless in three games. Harshal Patel and Tushar Deshpande have featured in three matches and have claimed five scalps each.
DC would have taken it, but their economy rates have been sky-rocketing. Patel has gone at 8.93 and Desphande has fared worse with 11.29. With Marcus Stoinis not good enough to bowl four overs, it is imperative for DC to have a good back-up seamer, particularly on days when Nortje or Rabada or both have an off-day.