Batting concerns remain for Sunrisers
Saturday, May 10, 2014
Start time 1600 (1030 GMT)
Sunrisers Hyderabad jumped from seventh position to fifth after defending 134 on Wednesday against Rajasthan Royals. It only makes the mid-table battle more compelling, as teams that missed out in the first half of the tournament look to catch up in the second.
Sunrisers are known for defending middling targets and on a sluggish pitch in Ahmedabad, didn't let Royals get close. While the bowling looks in good health, their top-order concerns remain. Shikhar Dhawan has four scores in the 30s but hasn't gone on to convert those. Aaron Finch, after scores of 88 and 44, has three sub-20 scores. In their last game, they had KL Rahul and Naman Ojha in the top four, ahead of David Warner, but they fell short of expectations. There is instability in the batting and while it didn't matter on Wednesday, Sunrisers wouldn't want to routinely leave it to their bowlers to win games.
Delhi Daredevils continue to languish at the bottom and will have to try and win most, if not all, of the remaining games to qualify for the play-offs. Playing at home has made no difference to their fortunes, for they have lost three out of three at the Kotla. Kevin Pietersen is yet to play the type of game-changing knocks he is known for. Their bowlers have struggled for wickets, having picked up seven in the last three games combined. In seven games, they have only picked up 28 wickets. Sunrisers on the other hand have picked up 44 from the same number of games.
Delhi Daredevils LLLWL
Sunrisers Hyderabad WLWLW
Where they stand
Delhi Daredevils: Last place, with two wins in eight matches
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 5th, with three wins in seven matches
Players to watch
In seven games, David Warner has batted in three different positions. He has played four innings at No. 3, two at No. 4, and in the last game he was pushed down to No. 5. Warner is a specialist opener for Australia but Sunrisers have been reluctant to use him there. Warner likes to attack the new ball but with this franchise, his role has changed to that of an innings anchor. Though he has three fifties, Sunrisers need to find him a permanent slot.
Kedar Jadhav has assumed the role of a finisher for Daredevils, with brisk 20s in his last three innings, at a strike rate of 170.17. He has not been dismissed in any of his four innings. His best chance of getting more crease time is if Daredevils give him a promotion.
The teams last met in Dubai, with Sunrisers prevailing by four runs in a high-scoring encounter. Aaron Finch (88*) and David Warner (58*) lifted Sunrisers to 184 for 1 and Daredevils began strongly, with the openers M Vijay and Quinton de Kock adding 99. They fell away after that and despite a late surge by JP Duminy, fell narrowly short.
Stats and trivia
- Daredevils' batsmen have scored the most hundreds in the IPL (5) but Sunrisers' batsmen have scored none. However, Sunrisers' David Warner has scored two hundreds while playing for Daredevils
- Amit Mishra has taken a hat-trick while playing for Daredevils - the only hat-trick by a Daredevils bowler in the IPL. This came against Deccan Chargers - the old avatar of his current franchise
- M Vijay and Dinesh Karthik's numbers so far are almost identical - 8 matches, 8 innings, 193 runs, average of 24.12. Their strike rates vary though. Karthik's stands at 125.32 while Vijay's at 114.20
"We felt we were 20 short when batting but they didn't get disheartened. The bowlers have shown good fighting spirit."
Sunrisers mentor VVS Laxman on his team's bowling performance against Royals
Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo