Sunrisers Hyderabad will look to continue their three-match winning run at home when they face a spirited Delhi Daredevils in an Indian Premier League (IPL) contest at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium here on Wednesday.
All of Hyderabad’s three wins have come here and they won their last match on Tuesday, defeating Kings XI Punjab by five runs. They have lost both their away matches played so far, which suggests that they really thrive at home.
However, their might will come under serious challenge against Delhi, who defeated Punjab by more than 50 runs before losing to Kolkata Knight Riders by four wickets in a match decided in the last over.
Packed with young batsmen like Sam Billings, Sanju Samson, Karun Nair and Shreyas Iyer, the Zaheer Khan-led Delhi’s strength lies in their array of talented seam-bowling all-rounders. The likes of Chris Morris, Corey Anderson, Angelo Mathews and Pat Cummins provide the depth and balance to the side. But the exciting team sometimes faces an absence of a pivot around which the team will bat around.
Captain Zaheer Khan has shown that despite his international retirement, he remains one of the best exponents of seam bowling. Supporting him in the bowling attack will be Mohammed Shami and veteran leg-spinner Amit Mishra.
Not only Delhi’s bowling but also their batting faces tough challenges against defending champions Hyderabad, who boast one of the most balanced teams in the tournament.
In Ashish Nehra and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hyderabad have two of India’s best shortest format medium pacers. Bhuvneshwar’s ability to mix seam with yorkers and blockholes at both the start and at the death overs has been high quality stuffs in T20 cricket. He is currently the highest wicket-taker with 15 scalps. Meanwhile, Hyderabad’s newly acquired Afghan spin pair of Rashid Khan and Mohammed Nabi has been impressive.
“Sunrisers are known for their bowling strength and defending low totals,” Bhuvneshwar said after his team defended a total of 159/6 against Punjab.
In batting, though they have strong batting line-up, they have been so far reliant on captain David Warner to show them the way. The Australian left-handed opener is currently leading batting charts in the tournament so far with 235 runs. His opening partner Shikhar Dhawan too is in decent form, scoring 135 runs.
However, Yuvraj Singh (93 runs), Deepak Hooda (50) need to step up, while Australian Moises Henriques will be asked to deliver both with the ball and the bat.