Hyderabad test for Delhi

Bottom-placed Daredevils look to reverse trend

Hyderabad test for Delhi

Halfway down the league stage, Delhi Daredevils find themselves heading towards the same road they had traversed last year. 

A new squad, coach and captain haven’t made their fortunes better. In such a bleak scenario, Daredevils need to pull off something extraordinary to redeem themselves in the remaining matches, latest one being against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday. 

Hyderabad had defeated Rajasthan Royals on Thursday in Ahmedabad to register their third victory from eight matches in the tournament. While Hyderabad’s batting has always been plagued with inconsistency, their bowlers rose to the occasion to defend a modest total of 134 on Thursday. The 32-run win victory might have infused a new energy in them and they would want to sustain the performance against bottom-placed Daredevils. 

For Hyderabad skipper Shikhar Dhawan, it will be a homecoming at Ferozshah Kotla. The India and Delhi player has had good starts in the tournament and he would be eager to convert them into big totals. With an equally aggressive opening partner and former Daredevils player Aaron Finch, Hyderabad has an ideal left-right batting combination. David Warner, another ex-Delhi player, KL Rahul and Naman Ojha form the middle-order but they need to overcome the inconsistency. 

Hyderabad have an envious attack spearheaded by Dale Steyn and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who starred against Royals with the figures of 4-14. While Steyn hasn’t been at his best, he chipped in with two wickets on Thursday and is always a threat, keeping in mind his ferocious pace and accuracy. Leg-spinner Karn Sharma has done a good job of containing and should be effective on the slow Kotla surface.

In contrast, Daredevils have struggled in the absence of a genuine wicket-taking bowler. South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir has joined the squad to fill in for injured Nathan Coulter-Nile, and Daredevils would be hoping for him to fit into that role. 

The batsmen are guilty of throwing away wickets after getting starts. The opening combination of Quinton De Kock and Murali Vijay need to dig in and it’s time captain Kevin Pietersen aso led by example. Dinesh Karthik has impressed with his breezy knocks and it might help if the in-form Jean Paul Duminy is promoted up the order. Duminy and Kedar Jadhav have done an excellent job in the death overs with unbeaten partnerships in the last two matches. They can create a better impact if given more overs.

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