Delhi Daredevils will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in the first match of the double header on Saturday. Delhi had a terrible start to IPL 8, losing their first two games, but their 11-match losing streak in the IPL finally came to an end with a win against Kings XI Punjab. They would now be keen to continue to build on the triumph they registered against Punjab. Sunrisers Hyderabad, on the other hand, will be looking to get back on the winning track following their loss to Rajasthan Royals. Their batting was particularly poor, something they will need to work on.
Delhi Daredevils win against Punjab was build on a solid all-round effort with both bat and ball. They had been waiting for one such performance. The batting efforts of Yuvraj Singh and Mayank Agarwal were particularly impressive. Yuvraj had looked in good form in the earlier games, but his half-century against Punjab was a much needed one. Agarwal also batted with a lot of flair, which would please Delhi. Batting hasn’t been their strongest suit in the event so far, but following their win against Punjab, they should feel better.
There is still scope for improvement in the batting though. If you take away, Yuvraj and Agarwal’s efforts, there weren’t lot of positives for Delhi. It is imperative that the overpaid Dinesh Karthik gets among the runs. He is not alone though. The skipper JP Duminy also needs to make some significant contributions. Shreyas Iyer and Kedar Jadhav are other batsmen who have to show some spunk. Delhi’s bowling is improving with each game. Imran Tahir has led from the front with some excellent bowling performances. Nathan Coulter-Nile is the other bowler who has been impressive. They need better support though.
Looking at Sunrisers’ performance, their batting was very poor against Rajasthan. True, the pitch was a sluggish one to bat on, but they could still have put up a better show. The likes of David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan need to learn to bat in varied conditions, even in the T20 format. Naman Ojha, Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara contributed cameos, but they need to do more.
Sunrisers fought hard with the ball against Punjab, but there have been instances in the previous matches when Delhi’s bowlers couldn’t utilise conditions, which were in their favour. This is something they need to beware of. A lot will depend on how Trent Boult bowls. The performances of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Praveen Kumar also matters a lot. It would be interesting to see if Hyderabad can somehow fit Dale Steyn into the bowling attack. With both sides having had a mixed run, no one would start as favourites on Saturday.
--By A Cricket Analyst