Last chance for inconsistent teams
Thursday, May 5, Hyderabad
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)
A loss in Hyderabad could be the final blow to the already feeble hopes Deccan Chargers and Delhi Daredevils harbour of making the play-offs. The good news for both of them is that they have tended to win when absolutely necessary - neither of them have lost more than two matches in a row. The problem is neither of them have won two games back-to-back either, which makes the probability of either side putting together a late run to make the top four unlikely.
Delhi are a one-man side. When Virender Sehwag departs early, the team's shoulders droop and even the most loyal fans reach for the remote control. And James Hopes' absence in the last two games hasn't helped either.
Deccan Chargers have been a bit like the little girl with a little curl in the middle of her forehead. They've had two of the biggest wins of this IPL - they showed all-round strength against Royal Challengers Bangalore at home, and then scythed through Kochi Tuskers away - but when they've lost, they've gone down without a whimper. The Hyderabad jinx that was broken with the win against Bangalore seems to be resurfacing, as they've lost three matches at home since, making it 13 losses out of 14 games there in all competitions. Deccan haven't won a match chasing so far, betraying a batting line-up lacking depth and quick to crumble under pressure.
Form guide (most recent first)
Deccan: LLWLW (seventh on points table)
Delhi: LWLLW (eigtht on points table)
Deccan Chargers' problem has been the under-performance of their international players. Shikhar Dhawan, Sunny Sohal and Bharat Chipli have all scored their share of the runs, but Cameron White, Daniel Christian and JP Duminy haven't. The persistence with White, who has a strike-rate of 91.75 in the 97 balls he's faced, is bordering on farcical, particularly when Michael Lumb is warming the bench. With JP Duminy struggling for form too, it may make sense to play Rusty Theron and shore up the bowling.
Delhi seem to have settled on Travis Birt as their fourth foreign player, and after his cameo in their last match, he may continue to keep Andrew McDonald and Colin Ingram out. Umesh Yadav was all over the place against Kochi, and the other India fast bowlers in the squad - Ashok Dinda and Varun Aaron - aren't visions of perfection either. They might well decide to bring left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem back in.
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In the spotlight
David Warner scored three half-centuries and a 46 in his first five matches of this IPL, but has since reached double figures just once. He needs to find that early form in order to take some of the pressure off Sehwag.
Amit Mishra has been Deccan's best bowler of the tournament along with Dale Steyn. His 10 wickets have come at 22.60 and his economy rate of 6.64 is the best among the bowlers in the side. On Thursday he will come up against Venugopal Rao in Delhi's middle order, who has been solid through the tournament.
- Virender Sehwag and David Warner's 146-run stand against Kings XI Punjab is the highest opening stand of this IPL. Deccan have not had a partnership of more than 92
- Ishant Sharma is one of three bowlers to have taken a five-wicket haul this season. There were no five-fors in IPL 2010
"The only area where we lacked is all-round overall performance on a regular basis."
Kumar Sangakkara seems to have pinpointed an area for his side to work on
"A couple of seasons back Deccan Chargers won five matches in a row to reach the semi-finals and ended up winning the IPL as well. If they can do it, so can we."
Virender Sehwag views his opposition as inspiration for a comeback