Sunrisers Hyderabad needs to win against Delhi Capitals on Tuesday to have an outside chance of making it to the playoffs.
In the final week of the group stage in IPL 2020, there are few things yet to be decided. The order of the top three teams remains to be seen as all three teams are level on 14 points. That is likely to change since they meet each other this week. The race for the top four got even more interesting after Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) suffered defeat against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) on Monday.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) remain in contention for playoffs, but they need some fortune in this race. SRH needs to win all three games this week and pray that other results also go in their favor. The first game of this week for SRH is against Delhi Capitals (DC) on October 27 at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
SRH suffered a monumental collapse in their last game as they lost against KXIP by 12 runs while chasing a target of 127 runs. The batting unit of SRH collapsed from a position of strength in that game. On the other hand, DC also come into this game on the back of a big defeat against KKR last weekend. They need a win on Tuesday to officially confirm their place in the playoffs.
David Warner and Jonny Bairstow have not clicked in the past few games for SRH. The middle-order did step in one odd game, which is not exactly what the team wants. A consistency in performances from all batsmen will be needed if SRH wants to qualify for the playoffs.
Meanwhile, DC also needs more support from the middle order. Rishabh Pant has looked rusty ever since returning from the hamstring injury. The 23-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman will need to step up in the upcoming games before the playoffs. Shikhar Dhawan had a rare poor outing in the last game. DC will be hoping that all batsmen get their rhythm back before the knockout games.
In the bowling department, SRH has done fairly well this season. Rashid Khan has been the pick of the bowlers as he continues to take wickets in middle overs and stop the flow of runs. T. Natarajan has been accurate with his yorkers, while other bowlers have also chipped in with wickets consistently.
Similar praises can be sung for DC’s bowling unit. Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje have been the best pace duo in IPL this season. The express pace at the top and death allows DC to start and end the innings on a positive note.
In the middle overs, Axar Patel has done well to reduce the run-rate. Although DC conceded 194 runs in the last game, there is nothing to worry about the bowling unit considering their consistency throughout the tournament.
SRH has a lot on the line as defeat on Tuesday will end their campaign. Meanwhile, DC can go back to the top of the table with a victory. Considering the stakes on the line, Tuesday’s game could be a closely fought contest.
By Kiran Thakare