Hyderabad: The young Delhi Daredevils batsmen, striving hard to keep the team afloat, face a stern test when they face formidable bowling attack of hosts Sunrsiers Hyderabad.
Just like previous editions, the Daredevils once again had a stop-start campaign in the ongoing IPL and are standing on the verge of yet another early elimination. The Delhi outfit is currently placed sixth with just three wins out of nine games and with five more matches remaining this season, the Daredevils cannot afford to slip any further if they wish to make it to the four-team play-offs.
But having suffered a string of losses under Gautam Gambhir who stepped down from captaincy on his own, the Delhi side looked in a much better shape under young Shreyas Iyer's leadership.
The Daredevils have a reason to smile after it got back to winning ways, beating fellow laggards Rajasthan Royals in their last game at home ground on Wednesday. Young Prithvi Shaw, skipper Iyer himself and Rishabh Pant are mainly spearheading the batting unit but the Delhi outfit would also want its foreign recruits Colin Munro and Glenn Maxwell to fire and if that happens they would definitely give any bowling side reasons to worry.
But unfortunately that has not been the case this season and with just five matches left, it's high time for Munro and Maxwell to come good to propel Delhi's chances. Among the bowlers, Trent Boult has been among wickets for Daredevils, claiming 13 scalps so far. He has been impressive in death overs too. The likes of young Avesh Khan, Liam Plunkett and spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, though, need to do more.
SRH, on the other hand, are sitting pretty at the top with 12 points from eight games. The Sunrisers' journey has been a fairytale one so far this season with their bowling unit turning out to be a revelation by defending low scores.
The Hyderabad side boasts of probably the best bowling attack in the ongoing IPL, comprising Siddharth Kaul, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Basil Thampi besides all-rounders Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammed Nabi and Yusuf Pathan.
The bowling attack earned kudos when they successfully prevented rivals from chasing down even low totals in recent matches. In their last game here, SRH bundled out formidable Kings XI Punjab for just 119 in 19.2 overs while defending a target of 132.
In another instance, on April 29, while defending a modest target of 152 the Hyderabad bowlers halted Rajasthan Royals' chase at 140 in 20 overs. The most heartening thing about SRH's bowling show is that the produced the brilliant performances despite missing the services of its star bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the last few matches owing to a back injury.
But captain Kane Williamson expects Bhuvneshwar to be fir for tomorrow's game. Though the team lost its regular captain David Warner in the wake of the infamous ball tampering row, its new skipper Williamson has stepped up and consistently delivered the goods for the side.
While Williamson emerged as the batting mainstay, SRH would hope its other batsmen, including Manish Pandey, Wriddhiman Saha, Deepak Hooda and Yusuf Pathan, also deliver in the remaining games.
SRH head coach Tom Moody said having done the tough work, the team is now focussed to finish on a good note. "Business end of the tournament is where we want to be playing our best cricket. We feel we can still improve in all three departments," Moody said here yesterday.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kane Williamson (C ), Shikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Wriddhiman Saha, Siddharth Kaul, Deepak Hooda, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Shreevats Goswami, Ricky Bhui, Basil Thampi, T Natarajan, Sachin Baby, Bipul Sharma, Mehdi Hasan, Tanmay Agarwal, Alex Hales, Carlos Brathwaite, Rashid Khan, Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Nabi and Chris Jordan.
Delhi Daredevils: Shreyas Iyer (C), Rishabh Pant, Glenn Maxwell, Gautam Gambhir, Jason Roy, Colin Munro, Mohammed Shami, Amit Mishra, Prithvi Shaw, Rahul Tewatia, Vijay Shankar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Daniel Christian, Jayant Yadav, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Trent Boult, Manjot Kalra, Abhishek Sharma, Sandeep Lamichhane, Naman Ojha, Sayan Ghosh, Liam Plunkett, Junior Dala.