Delhi Daredevils’ progress in IPL 2017 was halted on Monday when they fell to Kolkata Knight Riders, and they’ll look to avoid a slump when they visit Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday night. Hyderabad secured a thrilling five-run victory over Kings XI Punjab to notch up their third win, and will be a tough challenge for a side whose bowling came unstuck for the first time against KKR.
Both teams find themselves in the middle of the table with the potential to push on, making this an important match for both. The Hyderabad wicket was a touch slow on Monday, with only David Warner and Manan Vohra truly excelling, meaning batting could be tricky again – not that Delhi will mind much if it plays similar to the Feroz Shah Kotla.
Here’s Delhi Daredevils’ likely XI for the match.
Sanju Samson missed a really good chance to rack up his second huge knock of the tournament on Monday, racing to 39 before carelessly nicking Umesh Yadav behind. But he gave Delhi the start they were looking for and the blame falls on the rest for not pushing on, although on a personal level it would have been frustrating. Sanju is an ever-present threat and while the Daredevils opening partnership doesn’t boast the experience of others, it’s dangerous.
Sam Billings made 55 against Kings XI but couldn’t push on from a handy start last time out – a problem which plagued much of the Delhi line-up. The 25-year-old has surpassed 20 in each of his four innings, but it’s time the Daredevils’ overseas batsman makes a real mark.
An explosive right-hander, Billings hasn’t quite shown on the big stage (for England) what he is capable of, but has lit up the English county circuit on several occasions. He’s due a breakout moment.
There has been much talk that mesmerising young talent Rishabh Pant is coming in too late for the Daredevils – something which showed against the Knight Riders, with the 19-year-old not coming to the wicket until the 14th over. He shone once more with a speedy 38 off 16 balls – accelerating Delhi to a useful, albeit inferior 168 – and if Delhi’s openers can launch them into a strong position again, heaping the pressure on their opponents by promoting Pant ahead of Karun Nair and Shreyas Iyer makes sense.
Shreyas Iyer has looked useful in his two games so far, making 22 and 26 against Punjab and Kolkata. Had he not been run out against KKR, which took a stunning throw from Colin de Grandhomme he perhaps would have gone on and had a big impact.
Karun Nair was unable to get going against the Knight Riders, his 21 off 27 stalling Delhi after a quick start. With that in mind, they should be flexible about where he fits in. If the opening partnership fails, then bringing Karun in at first drop to get the innings back on track, but with his form right now, it seems counter-productive to have him come in if Delhi kick off well.
Corey Anderson was absent from the Kolkata game as he was unwell, and there’s no reason why he won’t be back in the side providing he’s at 100%. Angelo Mathews came in for the Kiwi but scored just one and bowled only two overs. Anderson and Morris at the back end give the Daredevils serious firepower and versatility too. Depending on the situation, they could consider promoting either for impetus, but they’ve not shown much intention of doing that as yet.
Chris Morris has been in fiery form in IPL 2017, his late six-hitting capabilities lifting Delhi to imposing totals. The South African has been useful with the ball as well and has become a safe bet to influence the game with bat, ball or both.
Pat Cummins was a little expensive on Monday, but the Australian pacer has taken seven wickets from four games. He’s the strike international bowler in the side and a potential match-up with fellow Aussie firebrand David Warner is a tasty one.
Shahbaz Nadeem missed out surprisingly against KKR, with Delhi selecting Mohammed Shami instead, and the move seemed even more baffling after the match. Nadeem had been performing and Shami’s three wicket-less overs for 28 didn’t help matters as Kolkata overcame a poor start to hunt down 169. It’s hard to see them making the same mistake again, especially since spin accounted for when Hyderabad played Punjab.
Amit Mishra had a bad outing against Kolkata but has been one of the keys for Delhi with the ball so far. The Indian spinner was particularly impressive versus Rising Pune Supergiant, where he nabbed three wickets for just 11 runs. If the Hyderabad wicket is indeed slow, then this should suit him nicely.
Ageless captain Zaheer Khan was the pick of the bowling versus KKR, removing their two openers – Colin de Grandhomme and Gautam Gambhir – as he scalped two wickets for 28 in his four overs. The bowling has been Delhi’s strong suit, even though it let them down on Monday, and Zaheer is an integral part of it. Expect him to be steady again or even better against Sunrisers.