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Can Daredevils stay relevant in the race to the playoffs?

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Tait: Yusuf can be dangerous, but hasn't done enough (4:42)

Deep Dasgupta and Shaun Tait preview the match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Daredevils (4:42)

Big Picture

A change in leadership is the natural response for a faltering organisation - in business and in sports. Occasionally, a professional sports team still fails to rally around a new captain for several reasons, the lack of skill being the most influential factor. On other occasions, a team finds success with a new group of players immediately, like Delhi Daredevils under Shreyas Iyer.

Delhi have won two of their last three games after Gautam Gambhir's exclusion. Overall, they have three wins in nine games. Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Prithvi Shaw have sparkled, but there are still too many holes. Glenn Maxwell, Jason Roy and Colin Munro haven't been substantial contributors, and Daredevils still haven't found their best bowling combination.

Sunrisers Hyderabad, on the other hand, have hardly had to bother with the quality of their bowling. They have defended 151, 132 and 118 in their previous three games. The absence of David Warner has discernibly weakened their batting, but it hasn't hampered the efficiency. That they lead the points table without a 180-plus score - the only team not to cross that mark in the IPL this season - can attest to that.

In the news

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who missed the last two games with a back injury, could return on Saturday. Captain Kane Williamson said "it wasn't a serious injury, but something he did need to allow rest."

Likely XIs

Sunrisers Hyderabad: 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Alex Hales, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Manish Pandey, 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Yusuf Pathan, 7 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Sandeep Sharma, 11 Siddarth Kaul

Delhi Daredevils: 1 Prithvi Shaw, 2 Colin Munro/Jason Roy, 3 Shreyas Iyer (capt), 4 Rishabh Pant (wk), 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Vijay Shankar, 7 Liam Plunkett, 8 Amit Mishra, 9 Avesh Khan, 10 Trent Boult, 11 Shahbaz Nadeem

Strategy punt

Prithvi Shaw has aced pace so far in this season. He has scored at a strike rate of 181.4 against pace, but just 132 against spinners. Colin Munro too has scored quicker against pace (164.5) than spin (144.2) in T20s since 2015. In that same period, Jason Roy has a strike rate of 152.1 against pace, but 124.9 against spin.

Sunrisers could not only start with spin, but could use slower bowlers in tandem against Daredevils' openers.

Stats that matter

  • As per the numbers, Sunrisers are the worst batting team in every phase - Powerplay, middle and death overs - of an innings this season. They are also the best bowling team in every phase of an innings.

  • The average score batting first in day-night games at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium last season was 172. That par score has come down considerably this season, to 134.

  • Sunrisers have not lost a game defending a total this season, in three games. Daredevils have won just one of five games while chasing a target this season.

Fantasy pick

The Hyderabad surface this season has been quite slow and has taken plenty of turn. That generally means that batting could get gradually harder, which makes the Powerplay the best time to score. Alex Hales is, therefore, a batsman that could score quickly earlier on, earning some valuable fantasy points.