Delhi registered their first win of six matches so far this season when they defeated the Kolkata Knight Riders by four wickets. But that hasn’t lifted them from rock bottom of the 10-team table. The Sunrisers are just a place above DC, at No. 9, with two wins in six matches.
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Delhi would expect more from their batters when they take on the hosts Sunrisers, who will be eager to return to winning ways.
The Capitals have had a tough season so far. They have struggled in all departments and, as a result, lost five games on the trot before putting it across KKR.
The bowling unit got its act together and put up a stellar display to restrict KKR to 127 but the Delhi batters, barring skipper Warner and deputy Axar Patel, failed once again as the hosts huffed and puffed to the win.
Much was expected of Prithvi Shaw and Mitchell Marsh but the two have been huge letdowns so far this season.
Scores of 12, 7, 0, 15, 0 and 13, in the six outings have highlighted Shaw’s inability to tackle pace and spin, and a quick-fix is unlikely.
Australian all-rounder Marsh has also had a woeful run with the bat, that includes two ducks in the four games and a high score of four. He hasn’t fared well with the ball either, and it is to be seen if the management persists with him or the likes of Rovman Powell and Rilee Rossouw are given another chance.
With the young Indian batters struggling, the onus is also on Manish Pandey, a seasoned campaigner, to bat more responsibly in the middle so that Axar has the freedom to play the big shots towards the end.
While the Capitals have a lot of work to do, there are a few positives they can build upon.
Playing his first game of the season, veteran Ishant Sharma bowled a brilliant spell, turning back time. He bowled with accuracy and produced inward movement to fashion the team’s first win.
Ishant was complemented well by the rest of the Delhi bowlers, who had been underwhelming so far.
Under the scanner for his below-par strike rate, skipper Warner also looked at his fluent best against KKR. He will hope to continue in similar vein against his former team, come Monday.
Sunrisers Hyderabad have slumped to back-to-back defeats after it seemed their campaign had taken off. They currently occupy the penultimate spot on the table with four points from six games.
The Orange Army has looked good on paper but their batting has failed them. Their batters have neither been able to chase nor put up a good total in the previous two games they lost.
With the IPL season moving towards its halfway stage, there is little time left for DC and SRH before the playoffs door is shut on them.
(With agency inputs)