Dubai: After a disastrous start to their campaign with two successive defeats, bottom-placed Sunrisers Hyderabad will be eager to bounce back against an inconsistent Delhi Daredevils, who are likely to be boosted by the return by Kevin Pietersen, in the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) here Friday.
In their inaugural season, Hyderabad had reached the playoffs but their campaign this year started on a disappointing note as they first lost to Rajasthan Royals by four wickets and then were blown away by Glenn Maxwell during their 72-run crushing defeat to Kings XI Punjab.
Delhi, on the other hand, blew hot and cold as they began with a eight-wicket loss against Royal Challengers Bangalore, bounced back against Kolkata Knight Riders and an abject batting failure saw them suffer an embarrassing 93-run loss to Chennai in their last match.
Their campaign seemed to be effected by the absence of Kevin Pietersen, who has so far missed all the three matches, owing to an injury on his little finger, which he suffered during fielding drills with Surrey at the Oval last month.
The former England skipper is hopeful of leading the Delhi outfit when they take on Hyderabad and it is going to give a big boost to their batting as well.
Hyderabad too have been battling batting woes. While in their opening game, the Shikhar Dhawan-led side failed to put up enough score on board against Rajasthan, in their second match they simply capitulated against Kings XI Punjab.
Skipper Dhawan too has spoken about their batting failure and fielding woes after the game against Punjab and he will have to address these issues if they have to turn it around at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium today.
On paper, Hyderabad have some explosive batsmen in Aaron Finch and David Warner but both the batsmen have done little to live up to their names, while Dhawan, himself, could only contribute just 38 and one so far.
The middle-order too have failed with the likes of Lokesh Rahul and Y Venugopal Rao struggling to keep the scoreboard ticking.
Their bowlers had faired well against Rajasthan when they took the game down to the wires but Dhawan`s bowlers could not withstand the Maxwell tide on Tuesday. Also their fielding was not upto the mark against Punjab.
Pace duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Dale Steyn has been pretty consistent so far with the former blooming under the South African`s guidance as he went on to pick four wickets in two matches.
Amit Mishra has snapped two wickets in each match, though he was at the receiving end of Maxwell in their last game and a lot would depend on the leg-spinner tomorrow.
For Delhi, Mohammad Shami has been the spearhead of their pace attack, while Jaydev Unadkat too has done well to take four wickets in the two games he played so far.
But they would be effected by the absence of Australian quick Nathan Coulter-Nile, who suffered a hamstring injury when diving to field a ball during the game against Chennai.
But Delhi spinners have disappointed as neither Shahbaz Nadeem nor JP Duminy could do much to stop the rival batsmen so far.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: S Dhawan (C), S Anirudha, A Ashish Reddy, RK Bhui, AJ Finch, MC Henriques, JO Holder, MC Juneja, B Kumar, CV Milind, A Mishra, NV Ojha?, P Parameswaran, Parvez Rasool, IK Pathan, AG Paunikar, KL Rahul, DJG Sammy, I Sharma, KV Sharma, DW Steyn, BRM Taylor, Y Venugopal Rao, DA Warner
Delhi Daredevils: MA Agarwal, NM Coulter-Nile, Q de Kock, JP Duminy, KM Jadhav, KD Karthik (C), S Kaul, Milind Kumar, Mohammed Shami, S Nadeem, JDS Neesham, WD Parnell, KP Pietersen, HS Sharath, R Sharma, LR Shukla, R Shukla, LRPL Taylor, MK Tiwary, SS Tiwary, JD Unadkat, M Vijay, J Yadav