Hyderabad must be one of the luckiest teams in the history of the IPL to qualify for the playoffs. They looked almost-certain to lose their spot in the top four after consecutive-defeats in their last two matches left them vulnerable, yet they find themselves in the 2019 IPL eliminator against Delhi! The conditions in Vizag are expected to be very humid this evening, fatigue might play a factor in this do-or-die match.
Despite the huge loss of their leading wicket-taker for the tournament, there’s a strong-belief in this Delhi Capitals camp that they can win this season’s title with or without Kagiso Rabada. Nobody said it was going to be easy though; Rabada’s contribution of 25 wickets which still sees him lead the purple cap award played a big part in getting Delhi to the playoffs this season. With all that said and done, Black Caps spearhead Trent Boult isn’t a bad replacement for the superstar-South African seamer. In Delhi’s last outing before the playoffs, Boult picked up 2/27 against the Royals in only his third appearance in this year’s IPL. Veteran-Indian seamer Ishant Sharma would’ve also received a massive confidence boost bagging 3/38 against the Royals as well, the 30-year-old hasn’t had the most productive season with the ball. The Capitals have a good mix of spin & seam in their attack, Axar Patel and Amit Mishra have both been relative economical this season whilst picking up wickets along the way.
Comparable to Shane Watson’s 2019 campaign for CSK in this year’s IPL, Prithvi Shaw has been inconsistent with the bat for the Capitals this season, yet he’s featuring in the playoffs. There’s no doubting the 19-year-old’s talent, but the IPL hasn’t exactly brought out the best in him as of yet. Two men that will be expected to fire in this all-important eliminator will be Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Shreyas Iyer. Two contrastingly-different players, Dhawan has muscled his way to some big scores this season whereas Shreyas Iyer has used his exquisite-timing as a scoring-mechanism. While the pair hasn’t had the best of tournaments, both are still averaging 34+ in 2019. Those two are key players in Delhi’s top order, but Rishabh Pant is the game changer. Striking at almost 160 in IPL 12, Pant’s stats for the tournament are almost obsolete at this point given his ability to destroy a team off his own bat.
It’s a minor-miracle that Hyderabad has made the 2019 playoffs, but their form heading into this IPL eliminator isn’t great. Back-to-back losses against the Mumbai Indians and RCB clearly indicates where this team is at, the question on everyone’s mind is can they turn it around? They look a completely different side compared to the one featuring the dominant-duo of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow earlier in the tournament, they lack intimidation. Sunrisers skipper Kane Williamson managed to break his drought in the runs department with an unbeaten 70 in Bengaluru last week, but it’s going to take more than that to bring down the Capitals. Manish Pandey’s purple patch finally ended after averaging a whopping-125.50 in his past four matches, that’s not to say he’s completely lost his touch with the willow though. This team has got plenty of scoring potential, Wriddhiman Saha has been producing quick-fire cameos against the new ball and Martin Guptill is one of the best limited-overs batsmen in the world.
It’s be said numerous times before, the only way Hyderabad will continue to progress in the tournament falls back onto their elite-bowling attack. Missing the first six matches of the tournament, Khaleel Ahmed’s return to the side has seen him jump up the leading wicket takers list in this season’s competition with 17 and now leads Hyderabad in that department as well. Leggy Rashid Khan isn’t far behind, but it’s the second time in five games that the star-Afghani has conceded 40+ runs which is a slight concern. Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s ability to strike early with the new ball will be pivotal, both Shaw and Dhawan are vulnerable to the swinging ball. Basil Thampi’s consecutive-wicketless outings could raise a debate whether to bring back one of Sandeep Sharma or Siddarth Kaul, Hyderabad can’t afford not to take wickets against this Capitals batting unit.
Top 4 fantasy picks – Delhi Capitals
- Shreyas Iyer
- Shikhar Dhawan
- Trent Boult
- Rishabh Pant
Wildcard pick – Prithvi Shaw
Top 4 fantasy picks – Sunrisers Hyderabad
- Khaleel Ahmed
- Manish Pandey
- Rashid Khan
- Kane Williamson
Wildcard pick – Vijay Shankar
Delhi Capitals (possible) – 1. Prithvi Shaw 2. Shikhar Dhawan 3. Shreyas Iyer © 4. Rishabh Pant (wk) 5. Colin Ingram/Colin Munro 6. Sherfane Rutherford 7. Axar Patel 8. Keemo Paul 9. Amit Mishra 10. Trent Boult 11. Ishant Sharma.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (possible) – 1. Wriddhiman Saha (wk) 2. Martin Guptill 3. Manish Pandey 4. Kane Williamson © 5. Vijay Shankar 6. Yusuf Pathan/Deepak Hooda 7. Mohammad Nabi 8. Rashid Khan 9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar 10. Khaleel Ahmed 11. Basil Thampi/Sandeep Sharma/Siddarth Kaul.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.