Fresh from a thrilling last-over triumph against Kings XI Punjab, Sunrisers Hyderabad are set to take on the resurgent Delhi Daredevils at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Wednesday. While the defending champions possess six points from five matches, the Zaheer Khan-led side have played one game less than the other franchises thus far and picked up four points.
With both outfits featuring an array of flamboyant batsmen and eye-catching bowlers, an enthralling tussle is in the offing. Here are the four major head-to-head battles that could go a long way in determining the contest.
#4 Amit Mishra vs Yuvraj Singh
After a scintillating 27-ball 62 in the opening game of the season, Yuvraj Singh seems to have slightly tapered off during the last few matches. However, the southpaw has enough experience and firepower to return to his sublime best at any given stage.
With Yuvraj’s game-plan against the turning ball looking reasonably solid, the middle-overs face-off with leg-spinner Amit Mishra is shaping up to be a mouthwatering one. The Delhi spinner was surprisingly tasked with delivering the crucial final over in the last game against Kolkata Knight Riders.
Even though he did not quite pull it off the other night, the seasoned campaigner has the tactical acumen to hold his own against well-set batsmen.
#3 Bhuvneshwar Kumar vs Sanju Samson
As evidenced by his staggering tally of 15 wickets from just 5 matches, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has looked threatening almost everytime he has come on to bowl in this tournament. Apart from striking with the new-ball, the seamer returns in the death overs to land the decisive blows.
Since the Daredevils boast of an exuberant and in-form top order, his opening spell contains the potential to set the foundation for Hyderabad.
Squaring up against him will be Sanju Samson who has scored the only century in this IPL edition thus far. The talented right-hander can take the game away from the opposition very quickly. Even if Bhuvneshwar tests his resolve by moving the ball both ways, he won’t be the one to hold back.
#2 Rashid Khan vs Rishabh Pant
Rashid Khan has a lot to do with Afghanistan cricket’s recent rise in the limited-overs formats. Operating from a quirky action, the leg-spinner has proved to be difficult to read with his googly confounding even accomplished spin-playing batsmen in the IPL.
The wily youngster is rapidly carving a niche for himself in the Sunrisers bowling attack. He will be looking to add to his burgeoning wickets tally when the skipper throws him the ball in the middle-overs.
After witnessing Karun Nair’s struggle against the Knight Riders, the Daredevils could be tempted to push Rishabh Pant up the order. With Rashid Khan’s stock ball coming into him, the left-hander will be fancying his chances to make a strong statement.
#1 Pat Cummins vs David Warner
No overseas batsman has been more prolific in the IPL than strong case for the Orange Cap.David Warner. After amassing a whopping 848 runs and leading the Sunrisers to the title in 2016, his appetite does not seem to have dimmed one bit. The aggressive left-hander has started this season with a bang by making a
However, Delhi’s battery of pacers may pose a threat to Warner’s commendable consistency. With his extra pace and remarkable control, Pat Cummins has risen to become a prominent part of the bowling attack.
In the meeting between two Australians, personal bragging rights, as well as games of one-upmanship, are also in play. From the speedster’s point of view, there won’t be anything better than a well-directed bouncer to greet his countryman at the crease.