Comfortably placed atop the Indian Premier League (IPL) points table, SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) will look to extend their five-match winning streak when they face bottom-placed Delhi Daredevils at the Ferozshah Kotla here on Thursday. The Kane Williamson-led side have more or less assured themselves of a place in the play-off after winning eight of their 10 matches to pocket 16 points while Delhi’s campaign has been lacklustre with just three wins from 10 outings. Out of the 11 times that these two teams have faced each other, SunRisers hold an edge having won on seven occasions as compared to Delhi’s four victories.
In their last meeting at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, the SunRisers romped home by 7 wickets as Delhi once again squandered a great start to lose the plot in the dying stages.
Delhi’s woes this season has been compounded by an inconsistent opening partnership, despite teenager Prithvi Shaw going great guns blazing at the top.
Besides Shaw, young skipper Shreyas Iyer and stumper Rishabh Pant form the backbone of Delhi’s batting and would be hoping to put on another brave effort against the best bowling line-up this season.
It would also be interesting to see whether Delhi still persists with Australian Glenn Maxwell, who had a torrid season so far.
On the bowling front, New Zealander Trent Boult have led his resources well with the young Avesh Khan, Englishman Liam Plunkett and all-rounder Vijay Shankar while leg-spinner Amit Mishra have also been amongst the wickets.
Coming to the SunRisers, its been their bowling unit led by the overseas spin twins — Afghan Rashid Khan and Bangladeshi Shakib Al Hasan — who have been instrumental in defending sub-150 scores.
The spinners have been well supported by the pace department led by fit-again Bhuvneshwar Kumar and young Siddharth Kaul.
Their batting mainly centres around the skipper — Williamson — who has repeatedly dug them out of troubled waters, scoring five half centuries so far in this season.
The inconsistent top order comprising the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Alex Hales and Manish Pandey need to shoulder the responsibility in case Williamson fails to deliver.
Veteran Yusuf Pathan has of late found back his groove with his cameos lower down the order along side the left-hander Shakib and stumper Wriddhiman Saha.
Come Thursday, it will be interesting to see if Delhi’s batsmen can pass the stern test from the Sunrisers bowlers and halt their winning run.
Delhi Daredevils: Jason Roy, Gautam Gambhir, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Glenn Maxwell, Shreyas Iyer (captain), Vijay Shankar, Daniel Christian, Rahul Tewatia, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mohammed Shami, Trent Boult, Chris Morris, Colin Munro, Amit Mishra, Prithvi Shaw, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Jayant Yadav, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Manjot Kalra, Abhishek Sharma, Sandeep Lamichhane, Naman Ojha, Sayan Ghosh, Liam Plunkett.
SunRisers Hyderabad: Kane Williamson (captain), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shikhar Dhawan, Shakib Al Hasan, Manish Pandey, Carlos Brathwaite, Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Rashid Khan, Ricky Bhui, Deepak Hooda, Siddarth Kaul, T. Natarajan, Mohammad Nabi, Basil Thampi, K Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Sachin Baby, Chris Jorda, Tanmay Agarwal, Shreevats Goswami, Bipul Sharma, Mehdi Hasan, Alex Hales.