Confident Sunrisers ready to take on Delhi Daredevils

Having stemmed their two-match losing streak,Sunrisers Hyderabad will look to stamp their authority when they face Delhi Daredevils in their fourth match at home. Having lost twice on the bounce, the hosts battled a difficult pitch to muster 159 on the board and then survived a late onslaught from Manan Vohra to secure full points in Monday’s (April 17) encounter against Kings XI Punjab.

While the Sunrisers have struggled on the road, they have been quite sensational at home this season. David Warner assessed the conditions early, put his head down and conjured up an innings that was very different to his natural game. The southpaw took his time before unfurling a series of breathtaking shots. He received vital support from Naman Ojha as the Hyderabad outfit finished with a fighting total.

The masters of defending modest scores, 159 seemed more than enough as Bhuvneshwar Kumar rocked KXIP’s top-order. At 82 for 6, the match seemed to be in the pocket of the hosts, only for Manan Vohra to play a blinder. It needed another brilliant 19th over from Bhuvneshwar to finally put the match into bed – enabling the hosts to go third in table with six points from five games.

While Warner, Ojha and Bhuvneshwar saved Sunrisers from a sticky position on Monday night, the team will need a complete performance against the resurgent Daredevils. Shikhar Dhawan hasn’t made the most of his starts, Moises Henriques has slowed down after a strong start while Rashid Khan had a rare off-day against KXIP. Ashish Nehra sat out of Monday’s game with a stiff neck and Barinder Sran, his replacement, showed the effect of rustiness, bowling for the first time since his comeback from injury. That the Sunrisers ended on the winning note was a testimony of the balance and depth in the squad – something that will warm the team management.

Having survived the KXIP test, the hosts now brace up for a stiffer challenge – from the in-form Delhi Daredevils. The Zaheer Khan-led side might have lost their last match, against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), in a last-over thriller, but the Rahul Dravid-coached outfit has resembled a winning unit. With 173 runs, Sanju Samson has been the architect of Delhi’s top-order. Given the responsibility and the freedom, the 22-year old has played the type of innings that first brought him into the limelight.

With Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant in solid form and the big-hitting abilities of their overseas acquisitions, the Daredevils have a batting unit that can put the runs on the board or chase down totals. While batting looks pretty settled, bowling is the trump card of this Delhi unit. Chris Morris and Pat Cummins have settled as a combination – so much so that Kagiso Rabada, one of the hottest emerging prospects in world cricket, has been reduced to just watching from the dug-out.

Shahbaz Nadeem has done a good job as the lead spinner and the team missed the services of their ace spinner in Kolkata. Add the evergreen effect of skipper Zaheer Khan, Delhi’s bowling looks complete. Over experimentation was cited as one of the reason’s for Delhi’s failure to qualify for last season’s finals. Unless Rahul Dravid & Co. do the same once again, this team looks a good bet to test Sunrisers’ resolve.

When: Sunrisers Hyderabad v Delhi Daredevils, 20:00 IST

Where: Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad

What to expect: It’s another night clash in Uppal and if Monday’s pitch was any indication, it could well be another sluggish pitch and could turn out to be another low-scoring affair. However, Wednesday’s match will be played on a different track. While it did look like a decent surface, threat of rain forced the ground staff to place it under covers.

Team News:

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Citing workload and a stiff neck, Ashish Nehra was rested for Monday’s game and his replacement, Barinder Sran, looked rusty. If Nehra is fit enough, he should be back into the playing XI.

Probable XI:

David Warner (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Moises Henriques, Yuvraj Singh, Naman Ojha (wk), Deepak Hooda, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Siddarth Kaul

Delhi Daredevils: The Zaheer Khan-led side surprisingly left out Shahbaz Nadeem for the Kolkata game, but the left-arm spinner should be back into the playing XI. Corey Anderson missed out of the Kolkata match with sickness and should be back into the eleven – at the cost of Angelo Mathews. Karun Nair has struggled for form this season, but the team management has placed immense belief in the Karnataka youngster – who’s threading on thin ice at the moment.

Probable XI:

Sam Billings, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant (wk), Corey Anderson, Chris Morris, Pat Cummins, Amit Mishra, Shahbaz Nadeem, Zaheer Khan (c)

What they said:

“Delhi are a dangerous side and they have got some genuine match-winners. I see them as one team that would be competing against us at the back end of the tournament. Hence, points against them is vital.” – SRH coach Tom Moody is under no illusions of another easy home victory.

Did you know?

Yuvraj Singh averages 45.00 against DD from 13 innings and has scored three fifties against them – both the highest for him against a team in IPL.

Zaheer Khan is one away from becoming the 10th bowler to 100 wickets in IPL. He will also be the oldest to do so among the ten.

DD openers have put together fifty-plus stands in the last two matches – the first time they had done in consecutive matches since 2008.

SRH have taken 17 wickets at 11.88 in the death overs (16-20) while DD has 11 wickets at 9.64 from four