SRH began their campaign on a disastrous note, registering a hat-trick of losses. However, all their three defeats were close losses. They went down to KKR, RCB and MI by 10, 6 and 13 runs. SRH could have won at least two of the three games. They did manage to get their first points on the board against Punjab Kings (PBKS), registering a comfortable nine-wicket victory, which will boost their morale.
DC came up with a thoroughly professional performance to outshine MI in their previous match. Leg-spinner Amit Mishra came up with a memorable spell as he outfoxed the MI batting with excellent figures of 4 for 24. Pacer Avesh Khan continued to impress with figures of 2 for 15 while Lalit Yadav put up a good all-round effort. After bowling his four overs for 17, picking up one wicket, he then scored an unbeaten 22 with the bat.
In the batting, DC have been guided well by the experience of Shikhar Dhawan, who is the current Orange Cap holder. Dhawan has played key roles all three of DC’s wins so far. He has found good support from opening partner Prithvi Shaw in a couple of games. Steve Smith also displayed recent form in the match against MI while Marcus Stoinis is beginning to find his rhythm.
SRH still have a lot of work to do despite their impressive win in the last game. Jonny Bairstow’s form augurs well for DC. And while skipper David Warner has been among the runs, he hasn’t played those brutal match-winning knocks. The inclusion of Kane Williamson is a positive for SRH but the middle and lower-order remains a worry owing to the massive inexperience.
In the bowling, SRH have been dealt with a big blow as T Natarajan has been ruled out of the tournament. Bhuvneshwar Kumar also picked up another niggle in the last match. A lot could thus depend on Khaleel Ahmed, who impressed with three wickets in the last game. Rashid Khan has proved to be deadly as ever.
SRH: David Warner (C), Jonny Bairstow (WK), Kane Williamson, Virat Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Abhishek Sharma, Vijay Shankar, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Siddarth Kaul
DC: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Steve Smith, Rishabh Pant (C & WK), Marcus Stoinis, Lalit Yadav, Chris Woakes, Amit Mishra, Ravi Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Avesh Khan
--Renin Wilben Albert