Stuttering Capitals face Sunrisers

Stuttering Capitals face Sunrisers

TIME TO STEP UP: Delhi Capital captain Shreyas Iyer needs a big performance. PTI

Twice Delhi Capitals have messed up their chase from a position of strength. With two wins and two losses, the rebranded franchise quickly needs to get its act together if it wishes to exorcise the ghosts of the past. Next up for them is Sunrisers Hyderabad, a team considered among the favourites, and Delhi will not like to leave anything wanting at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium on Wednesday.

For Capitals, their previous defeat to Kings XI Punjab was as much shocking as it was demoralizing. Needing 23 off 21 balls, Delhi lost seven wickets for eight runs to lose by 14 runs. Surely the branding isn’t working for them!

Before this, Delhi lost control while chasing a modest total against Kolkata Knight Riders at home and ended up spilling the contest in Super Over. They were only saved by Kagiso Rabada’s flurry of yorkers.

Without a doubt, youthful exuberance is the hallmark of Delhi. They thrill and excite with their potential but are equally combustible. The consistency which defines a great side is missing, be it Rabada or Rishab Pant, tipped as the leaders of the future, they have performed sporadically.

The batting line-up comprising Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw and Shreyas Iyer is capable of scoring heavily in powerplay and with Pant and Colin Ingram to follow, it surely carries with it, a punch. But so far, they have failed to fire in tandem. The form of captain Shreyas Iyer remains a concern.

In bowling, teenaged leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane has given a good account of himself in the two outings with Rabada and Chris Morris both among wickets. Senior leggie Amit Mishra can also get a look-in.

With Sunrisers’ openers in a rip-roaring form, the task is cut out for the Delhi attack. Hyderabad bounced back from losing their opening game to KKR and is working towards building a momentum. In their previous game, they beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 118 runs with David Warner and Jonny Bairstow scoring centuries, this coming after the duo had put up an opening partnership of 110 in their five-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals the match before.

It will be tough to look past the two and if Delhi manages to do that, the likes of Yusuf Pathan, Vijay Shankar and Manish Pandey are waiting to turn up. 

Regardless, Sunrisers is one of the most well-balanced sides in the tournament. Afghanistan spinners Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi have been impressive with seamers Sandeep Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Siddharth Kaul completing a dangerous attack.

The two sides have met 12 times with Sunrisers leading the head-to-head 8-4. In their five meetings here, Sunrisers have won four. Delhi cannot ignore these statistics. The margin of error only shrinks as the league approaches the midway stage.