Before the start of Indian Premier League 2013 edition going by history and team strength on paper Delhi Daredevils were expected to rise while Sunrisers Hyderabad were written off. After 13 matches of current edition, both have surprised all. After playing 3 matches each, Sunrisers have enjoyed the top position for 4 consecutive days and are still at 4th position, while Daredevils are left wondering whether they can even win a single match!!
Based on current performances in the last three matches, underdogs Sunrisers Hyderabad are the clear favorites. They defended low scores against Pune Warriors, who scored the fastest 50 runs of current IPL, and held their nerve to win the Super Over against RCB. They lost the return match in Bangalore, but there was a silver lining. While the first two matches show they have good bowling attack, the third match showed they have the batting firepower too. If both click together, they are tough challenge for any team. Unfortunately both does not click together and that is why the depleted and hapless Delhi Daredevils team would consider their 4th match of the tournament as their best bet to get back to the winning mode.
DD have lost comfortably at Kolkata to KKR and at Jaipur to RR, while Mumbai Indians trounced them. Yet considering their astonishing record of 7 wins and only 3 losses against Hyderabad-based team, DD would be helpful of a positive turnaround. After all it is the same team that has topped the leagues with 11 wins.
Return of Sehwag
With all history and motivation behind, the biggest inspiration for DD and fear factor for opposition is the return of Sehwag. He has been the most important match winning player of DD, and his absence made DD look a below average team. Just his name being there would make them heavyweight. His strike rate of 167.31 in 66 matches resulting into 1879 runs, making him one of the top 10 run scorers of IPL, with a century and 14 half-centuries speaks for his importance.
Hope for Sunrisers
Their only hope is shrug off the past record of Deccan Chargers as record of other team rather than carry it as record of Hyderabadi team. Sehwag has been the proven tormentor of Hyderabad team. They would expect to provide a better result, considering it is a team of a new franchise.
In bowling and batting they have established their strength, now it is their turn to ensure that return of Sehwag does not raise the morale of DD too high for them to tackle. The match is effectively Sehwag vs Sunrisers. Hope they get their strategy right and win to go the top two of the table.
They have lost three matches, yet Warner has been in good form and Mahela has been good but did not last long probably due to the weak middle order. With Sehwag’s return he can feel with a free mind. Irfan Pathan has become a liability in batting. In bowling he should finish his overs before 15th over. Morne Morkel should be fresh now after being thrown directly into his first match after the flight from South Africa. He may be ready to give the early jolts to Sunrisers.
Bowling and batting both need to be lifted much higher in quality. For Delhi Daredevils, if Sehwag returns, this is the do or die match. Either they lift them with his return for good, or else even if his return results in loss, then they can be considered easily to be lost in oblivion.
- Mahela and Sangakkara have captained Sri Lanka too, and played under each other. Both share such a good friendship that they run together a restaurant chain also. So, captaincy style will not be a surprise for them as both know each other’s mind very well. Both come to bat at number 3 and there lies the bigger challenge. The better they bat, the more their team’s chances are, as in captaincy both have equal edge.
South African Bowling Stalwarts
- Steyn and Morne Morkel have together devastated many batting units when representing the country together. Today they stand in opposite camp as the spearhead of their teams. Both teams rely on them to deliver the necessary winning punch. Both have good record too in IPL. The winner of today’s battle of 4 overs would be the key factor in deciding the battle today.