It is do or die for the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League on Thursday afternoon when they host the table topping Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Feroz Shah Kotla in the latest game of the tournament.
The Daredevils know that if they lose the match their playoff race will be over while the Sunrisers go into the match fully aware that a victory will secure a place in the top four which they will then hope to build on over the remaining matches to give them the best league position they can get.
Try as they might the Delhi Daredevils just can’t get a consistent run of form going this season. It is not for the want to trying or the lack of exploring their options. I think it simply comes down to the fact that there are better sides than them in the competition. It has got to the stage though where Delhi need to win their last four and hope and pray it is enough.
If there is a positive to come from the campaign for the Delhi outfit then it comes in the form of their middle order where Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer in particular have been brutal. Prithvi Shaw is making a big impression at the top of the order too so if they can just find a bowling combination that works wins aren’t beyond them.
The Sunrisers continue on their merry way this term. You can always tell a good side by whether they can win when they don’t play at their best and this lot are mastering that particular art. I don’t think they have batted well as a unit once this season but yet they have eight wins from 10 matches, including one over the Daredevils two games ago.
Ironically it was their middle order that got the job done for them on that occasion but more often than not it has been their bowling attack who have delivered the goods and earned them their victories. That was certainly the case earlier in the week when they were too good for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Delhi Daredevils are trying everything to get a run of form going. They have tried Glenn Maxwell at the top of the order but that didn’t work. He’ll play but it might be worth going back to Jason Roy in that position. Bowling Dan Christian at the death isn’t a shrewd move either. He could make way for Roy.
Sunrisers Hyderabad are generally a settled bunch so unless they decide it is time for Bhuvneshwar Kumar to have a rest then I would imagine they will be unchanged barring an undeclared issue.
It might be win or bust for the Delhi Daredevils but I just find it hard to see how the Sunrisers Hyderabad lose this match. I say that because we saw them chase down a daunting enough total in Hyderabad when these two sides met over the weekend and they’ve basically defended everything this season.
You would have to think it is going to be hard for Delhi to put up a genuinely significant score and I’m far from convinced they have the bowling attack to defend one even if they did. All things being equal I expect the Sunrisers to pick up another win here.
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