IPL 2021 | DC vs SRH: With nothing much to lose, Sunrisers eye positive restart

Somya Kapoor

Somya Kapoor

Author| Sep 21, 12:15 PM

Photo Credits: Twitter
Photo Credits: Twitter

Struggle. The one word that defined the first half of the Indian Premier League as well as the Sunrisers Hyderabad. 

The BCCI had just about managed to get the cash-rich league back in India after the last year’s edition was held in UAE only to see it getting suspended as the country was severely hit with the second wave of Covid-19. 

Well, the BCCI has anchored the tournament back on track with some tweaks in the scheduling and the venues. 

The Hyderabad franchise also needs some major changes if the side wants to get back on track in the second half of the edition. SRH management took a huge step during the first leg of the IPL after they handed over the captaincy baton to Kane Williamson removing David Warner from the post. 

"The decision has not come lightly as the management respects the enormous impact David Warner has had for the franchise over a number of years.”

"As we face the remainder of the season, we are sure David will continue to help us strive for success both on and off the field,” the statement added. 

The decision was a surprising one for many as SRH have lifted only one title in the IPL and achieved the feat under the captaincy of Warner. But as they say, this game doesn’t really work on the past records but it’s all about the present form and the David Warner-led side had been genuinely struggling. They had already lost four out of the five matches that they had played then. 

But handing the leadership to Williamson didn’t really bring much positivity as the side lost the next two matches as well. But that has been the talk of the past and the only way that SRH can give themselves that small chance of making a comeback is by looking forward and what lies ahead. 

Delhi Capitals on the other hand have tasted some success in the recent past in the IPL. They ended as the runners-up for the first time last year while have been in some good touch in this season as well. In the eight matches in which DC featured, they clinched wins in six of them under the captaincy of wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant who was appointed for the position after Shreyas Iyer was ruled out from the first phase due to a shoulder injury that he had sustained during England series at home. 

Iyer though is fit and will take the field for the Capitals but the side would be led by Pant only. Surprisingly, it was under Iyer's captaincy that Delhi had reached the finals but nevertheless, the right-hander’s presence in the batting unit will provide them with a lot of strength and stability, especially on these tracks. 

SRH’s middle-order woes

The Sunrisers Hyderabad have consistently faced troubles with their middle-order batting despite getting decent starts on some occasions. In the last clash against Delhi Capitals, Kane Williamson had held the fort from one end but kept losing partners on the other side as the match went into the Super Over and the Sunrisers eventually lost the game. 

The Hyderabad side has a new recruit in Sherfane Rutherford who has replaced Jonny Bairstow in the line up. He was in decent touch during the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League scoring 263 runs and the SRH team management would be expecting him to continue doing the same for them as well. 

The youngsters need to step up and take ownership if Sunrisers are seeking any positive results in the second half. They do have the firepower to take on the opposition but haven’t been able to produce a performance of their class and calibre. 

Rashid Khan - The Key

Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan can prove to be the trump card for SRH in UAE. The kind of variations that he has in his bowling especially deceiving the batsmen with wrong-uns is a major aspect of his bowling. Keeping the line on or just outside off stump can help him in pushing the batsmen on the back foot. 
He will be crucial given the left handed heavy batting line-up of the Delhi Capitals.

Importance of medium pacers

The last match in Dubai was evidence of the kind of conditions that the venue has on offer. The medium-pacers will play a vital role in putting a halt on the scoring rate. Sunrisers Hyderabad would be banking on someone like Bhuvneshwar Kumar to capitalise on the conditions and give them some positive start. 

Problem of plenty for DC

Delhi Capitals are in a good space and would be looking to continue from where they left the competition in the first phase. DC openers Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw are in the top four in the list of leading run-scorers while Avesh Khan is the second highest wicket-taker at the moment in the tournament. 

The right-arm pacer had suffered a thumb injury while he was with the Indian team in England and had to return back. But he later joined the Delhi Capitals squad in UAE. 

Let’s first talk about their batting strength. 

Dhawan and Shaw had been in brilliant form in the first half of the IPL 2021 while they have the likes of Pant, Shimron Hetmyer, Steve Smith, Ajinkya Rahane and now Shreyas Iyer in the ranks. Pant and the team management will have their task cut out to make a steady and stable batting order. 

With only four overseas players allowed in the final XI and Iyer back in the team, it would be a difficult choice to make between Hetmyer and Smith if the team management picks Stoinis as well. 

The bowling attack seems to be sorted for now as they have Axar Patel and R Ashwin who can also bat while Kagiso Rabada, Avesh and Amit Mishra are the other bowlers who might feature in the final XI.

Match Details

Match: DC vs SRH, 33rd Match, Indian Premier League 2021

Date: Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Time: 7:30 PM

Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai

Pitch Report

The track in Dubai might have something on offer for the pacers in the first half of the encounter. At the time of writing, Punjab pacers in their match against Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday, 21 September, have picked up 9 out of the 10 available wickets. 

With a little grass on offer to bind the wicket, this also is a good pitch to slog across the line, but one must always be wary of the bigger boundary. The key for the batsmen is to get their eye in and then accelerate. So, if you win the toss, bowl first. 

Team News

DC: Chris Woakes had earlier pulled out of the remainder of the IPL 2021 citing personal reasons and Ben Dwarshuis was roped in as his replacement. 

"JSW-GMR co-owned Delhi Capitals today announced that English all-rounder Chris Woakes, who picked up 5 wickets in 3 matches in the first half of the IPL 2021, has pulled out of the tournament due to personal reasons," Delhi Capitals said in a statement.

"The Delhi Capitals have announced Australian fast bowler Ben Dwarshuis as Woakes' replacement for the remainder of the IPL 2021 season," it added.

Apart from this Iyer is also back in the side after missing out the first leg. Though Iyer is back but the team would be led by Rishabh Pant. 

The wicket-keeper batsman was earlier given the captaincy after Iyer was ruled out with a shoulder injury during the England series at home. 

SRH: The biggest news that came out of the SRH camp on Wednesday was that their strike bowler T Natarajan has tested positive for COVID-19. The IPL press release stated that Natarajan along with all-rounder Vijay Shankar and 5 others have been put under isolation. This means that SRH will once again go into a game with an undercooked squad and hope that things pan out for them. 
While this misery is much fresh, before the start of the tournament, opener, Jonny Bairstow had also pulled out of the remaining fixtures of the IPL 2021 due to the six-day quarantine rule.

“They won't be boarding the flight to UAE. One of the reasons for their pull out is the six-day quarantine which they didn't need to do earlier," PTI quoted a BCCI official.

Bairstow was then replaced by Sherfane Rutherford in the squad which ideally should give SRH better balance in the middle order. 

Probable XI

DC: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (c & wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kagiso Rabada, Avesh Khan, Amit Mishra

SRH: David Warner, Jason Roy, Kane Williamson (C), Manish Pandey, Abhishek Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Abdul Samad, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, Sidharth Kaul

Fantasy XI

Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, David Warner, Abdul Samad, Kane Williamson (VC), Marcus Stoinis, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Rashid Khan (C), Bhuvneshwar Kumar 

  • Kane Williamson
  • Rishabh Pant
  • Shikhar Dhawan
  • Sherfane Rutherford
  • Rashid Khan
  • SRH
  • DC
  • IPL 2021
  • Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai

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