DC vs SRH IPL 2021 Preview - 22nd Sept: Poles apart on the leaderboard, Delhi and Hyderabad start from scratch
Given the form of both sides in the first installment of IPL 2021, the match seems more of a mismatch.
Top-placed DC meet bottom-placed SRH
Delhi Capitals are placed at the top of the points table with 6 wins from 8 matches. Hyderabad, on the other hand, find themselves right at the bottom with just one victory from 7 games.
However, a lot can change over a small period in cricket and both will have to start from scratch when they meet at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
The captaincy twist
The captaincy of both sides makes for an interesting tale in itself. Delhi Capitals appointed Rishabh Pant as their captain after Shreyas Iyer became unavailable due to a shoulder injury. Iyer is back, but the Capitals have stuck with Pant.
Coming to SRH, it certainly grabbed some headlines when Kane Williamson replaced David Warner as the captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad. The reason essentially was that SRH were struggling to make space for all three of Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson and David Warner in their playing XI, with Rashid Khan already a lock-in.
The team wanted to include one more all-rounder in Mohammad Nabi or Jason Holder but was unable to do so. Hence, they had to sack Warner. But, with Jonny Bairstow having pulled out of the remaining matches of IPL 2021, Warner is expected to be back at the top of the order along with wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha who showed some gumption towards the end of the last installment, before getting injured.
In the middle order, Hyderabad have the options of Priyam Garg, Abhishek Sharma, Abdul Samad, Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Shankar, none of whom inspire a lot of confidence to be blunt. Manish Pandey has been often criticized for his low strike rate and will have to step up for Hyderabad to get out of the rut.
Having gone under the knife, T Natarajan will join Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Sandeep Sharma to make up SRH's Indian pace bowling trio. Jason Holder might pip the in-form Sherfane Rutherford in the role of the pace bowling all-rounder. Rashid Khan, as always, remains their trump card.
No confusion for DC
Delhi Capitals have a pretty settled playing XI, with Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan clicking as an opening pair. Shreyas Iyer will slot back in alongside Rishabh Pant and Marcus Stoinis.
Chris Woakes' pull out will make it easier for Delhi to fit in both Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje to complement Avesh Khan, the current leading wicket-taker for the side. It will be hard on Amit Mishra, but Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel will be their two spinners, at least to begin with.
Predicted playing XIs
Delhi Capitals - Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Steven Smith/Shimron Hetmyer, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (capt, wk), Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan
Sunrisers Hyderabad - David Warner, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Kane Williamson (capt), Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Jason Holder, Abhishek Sharma/Abdul Samad, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan
© Cricket World 2021