IPL 2021: Sunrisers brace up to face aggressive Delhi heat
DC are among the best balanced sides in the tournament
Fans of SRH heaved a mighty sigh of relief when the team beat Punjab Kings on Wednesday. Before that, SRH had lost three matches in succession, and with no clear indication of what needed to be done to turn things around, apart from making major changes in the playing XI.
That seemed to help against Punjab, especially the calming presence of Kane Williamson who should now be a regular fixture, but captain David Warner and the coaches will star harbour some trepidations. While a win after three defeats is obviously a splendid turnaround, the struggling manner in which this was achieved suggests SRH are far from being at their best.
Because Punjab batted pathetically, scoring only 120, SRH’s task was made considerably easy, but it wasn’t a cakewalk victory. Had there been 20-25 runs more to chase, who knows what the result might have been?
SRH’s bowlers deserved credit for restricting Punjab to a paltry score. Once KL Rahul was dismissed, PBKS seemed to lose nerve and on the slow Chepauk pitch, floundered against Rashid Khan and pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Khaleel Ahmed who brought in splendid variations to befuddle batsmen.
SRH are playing at the same venue tonight, but the opponents this time are not self-doubting, as PBKS were, but the bold and aggressive Delhi Capitals, currently No. 3 in the points table, with three wins from four matches.
DC are among the best balanced and perhaps the most energetic team in the tournament. There is experience and youth in equal measure, and the deep ambition to win a maiden title is evident; this season too as in the previous one when they reached the final, only to lose to Mumbai Indians.
DC’s batting is formidable. Shikhar Dhawan has been in impeccable form, which has made up to a large extent for the inconsistency of Prithvi Shaw. Steve Smith looked like he is getting into his grove. Rishabh Pant, without a really big knock to his credit, has always looked threatening.
The bowling too has been effective, despite Kagiso Rabada and Ravichandran Ashwin, two of the best in the business, still not in great wicket-taking form. Chris Woakes has been of value whenever he’s played, but the pick of the pacemen has been young Avesh Khan. Amit Mishra was a revelation against Mumbai Indians. DC also have Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Anrich Nortje and Axar Patel on the bench!
That’s the kind of team and talent SRH have to overcome. Tough!
Players To Watch Out For:
DC: Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Amit Mishra
SRH: David Warner, Rashid Khan, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar
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