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Three days after their convincing seven-wicket win over the formidable Mumbai Indians, Sunrisers Hyderabad will be back in action. This time around they take on a rejuvenated Delhi Daredevils in Match 48 of the Pepsi Indian Premier League.
SRH were among the top four teams in the standings until a defeat to Rajasthan Royals saw them slip to fifth. They have six wins from ten matches and will be playing at home conditions where they are yet to lose a game this season.
After losing the first six matches of their season, the Delhi Daredevils have come back strongly winning three of their four recent matches to stay alive in the competition. They will be aware that, barring Pune Warriors India and the Chennai Super Kings (for varied reasons), the remaining seven teams have a chance to progress to the Pepsi IPL 2013 Play-Offs. Not only do DD have to win at least five of their remaining matches, they also need to have an eye on their Net Run Rate (NRR) which is the poorest among all the contenders.
Saturday, May 4, 2013, 8 p.m
Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad
Sunrisers Hyderabad are one of those teams which does not have too much ammunition in the batting to score quick runs. Shikhar Dhawan and Thisara Perera are the two players who can tonk the ball real hard and score runs at a fair clip. Since his return, the left-handed Dhawan has scored two half-centuries and contributed close to a third of the runs scored by his team. On the bowling front, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma and Dale Steyn have performed consistently. Karan Sharma – little known prior to the IPL - has impressed bowling the fast leg-breaks, even bowling a maiden over to Dwayne Bravo in a difficult run-chase. He will want to enhance his reputation by performing against the likes of Sehwag, Warner and Jayawardene.
The one common factor in the Delhi Daredevils’ two most recent wins has been runs from David Warner. Though the Australian has slipped down to the middle order, he has adapted well to that role and has powered his team to wins. It is important that men in form do the job and hence DD will expect Warner to carry his form through the rest of the tournament. After a poor start to the tournament, the young Unmukt Chand came good in the previous match; a player with plenty of talent, known to possess big-match temperament, DD will expect Chand to deliver the goods consistently. Keep an eye on Virender Sehwag and Mahela Jayawardene too, for both players can win matches single-handedly.
In the only meeting between these two teams - at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium earlier this season – Sunrisers Hyderabad won a low-scoring match by three wickets. The visitors restricted the Delhi Daredevils to 114 for eight and then chased down the runs with four balls to spare.
Sunrisers Hyderabad have the slowest (overall) scoring rate of all the nine teams this season – 6.84. They also have the best bowling economy rate of all the nine teams – 7.02.
The top three batsmen in Sunrisers Hyderabad have contributed 40.36% of the runs scored by the team. That is the lowest among all the nine teams.
Sunrisers Hyderabad will next lock horns against two-time champions Chennai Super Kings; the two teams will meet at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on May 8. Delhi Daredevils meanwhile head to Jaipur for the next match; they will take on the Rajasthan Royals on May 7.
With back to back wins at home, Rajasthan Royals now face the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens on Friday. While the Royals will be looking to better their away record, the Knights will be hoping for a change in fortunes at home, especially after suffering back to back defeats in their previous fixtures.
The Knight might be coming off consecutive losses, but Rajasthan Royals opener Ajinkya Rahane was wary of the defending champions. “Playing against KKR in Kolkata is a big challenge and we all know the Knight Riders are a good side,” said Rahane. “We would not want to take them lightly. We just want to play it like just another game and give our best against the defending champions.”
The Royals indeed seem to be giving their best in the competition. Their domestic and overseas players have shared responsibilities and their captain Rahul Dravidis leading by example.
“Rahul Dravid is backing all of us. As a captain he is doing a great job by handling the team well. The team is also supporting the captain well and we have seen that he (Dravid) has done well with the bat too. We want him to bat like this and hope he gets match winning knocks for us,” Rahane said.
But what has stood out in Rajasthan Royals’ performances is the way the youngsters have performed. It has been one of the highlights, according to Rahane. “All the youngsters are doing well. If you see our team, the youngsters who have got the opportunities have grabbed it with both hands and made sure they have put up a good performance at the end of the day. May it be Dishant Yagnik or Sanju Vishwanadh or any other youngster; they have all done well which is a good sign for the team. It is all about team effort at the end of the day. We all are doing well as a team and we want to continue in the same vein during the coming matches.”
Ajit Chandila has pretty much been a revelation for RR with some of the big names in the competition on his wicket list. He has troubled the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting and Rahane believes Chandila is becoming a better bowler with each passing day. “It is pretty much difficult to pick Ajit Chandila at the nets. It is a good sign that he is playing for us. I think he will put some batsmen in trouble in the upcoming matches. He has got a few variations up his sleeve and is constantly trying to develop his bowling skills.”
Personally, Rahane who has been responsible for giving his side some good starts in the tournament felt the key to perform well in any format of the game was patience. “Patience is the key in any format of the game. Even in T20s you get enough time to bat. Even if you play one maiden over, it does not mean you need to swing your bat at everything from the very next over. If you back your skills and stick to executing the game plan, you will succeed.”