Delhi Capitals v Sunrisers Hyderabad
Wednesday 22 September 15.00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Delhi Capitals were the league leaders before the break. They have been usurped by Chennai on win rate so will be keen to reassert their authority.
The break has been good for them. The return of Shreyas Iyer is a major boost as they looked a little shy in the middle order. He mitigates Steve Smith as anchor at number three with justified worries he could get Delhi bogged down.
And they have bowling options coming out of their ears. Avesh Khan's brilliant pace form has meant Anrich Nortje and Ishant Sharma can keep the bench warm. And he's taken the pressure off Kagiso Rabada. Spin pair Axar Patel and Ravi Ashwin are top notch.
They will take some stopping, particularly if they dispense with Smith and just give licence to a Hetmyer or Billings up front.
Possible XI Dhawan, Shaw, Smith, Iyer, Pant, Stoinis, Axar, Ashwin, Rabada, Ishant, Avesh
Sunrisers in trouble
Sunrisers are bottom of the pile and a defeat would mean they'd have to win each of their final seven games to make the play-offs. Unlike Delhi, they have been hurt by the break.
The hiatus has meant that David Warner's atrocious form has been forgiven, and forgotten. He probably comes straight back in when they should be playing Jason Roy or even trying Rashid Khan as opener. Wriddi Saha is another option. Jonny Bairstow has pulled out altogether.
There's little wrong with the bowling group. Led by Rashid, of course, they are reliably mean. It's just the woeful batting that keeps letting them down. Kedar Jadav could well play as a wicketkeeper after taking the gloves in warm-ups.
Probable XI Warner, Pandey, Williamson, Jadav, Samad, Nabi, Rashid, Kumar, Natarajan, Khaleel, Sandeep
Chennai recovered from seven for three against Mumbai on a green-top to take victory over Mumbai in the 'opener part two'. It looks as though grass has been left on to try to stop significant wear and tear on the square with one eye on next month's World Cup.
Previously it had been pretty tough for batters. There had been a run rate of 7.5 in the last two years. But - and it's a big 'but' - 18 out of the 26 matches in IPL 2020 saw 160 or more in the first dig busted.
There's a feeling, though, this is a game to go low because of the bowling ability on show. These are two decent units in the field. Delhi, for example, will reckon they could restrict Sunrisers and going under 130 and 140 could pay.
Delhi are 1.748/11 for the win. That's surprisingly big and is perhaps chunkier because of the break. In the thick of things with non-stop action one may have expected them to be below 1.705/7.
It's a good price. Delhi are probably second to Chennai in terms of ability in the entire tournament and their pace attack - and Sunrisers' ponderous batting - really should make for an easy evening's work.
Sportsbook have price-boosted Shikhar Dhawan to 12/5 for top Delhi bat. That gives an edge of almost two points on his two-year win rate. His price of 7/2 for top match bat is interesting, too.
They have boosted Warner's price the same. But we can't get involved even though his win rate is in the 30s. We think he's done at this level.
Frustration abounds that Abdul Samad is as short as 7/2. Remember when we were taking prices in the late teens in part one? There are a couple of prices which stick out, both because the players could open. Manish Pandey at 4s and Saha at 7s.
With the ball there's nothing wrong with having an interest in the 5/2 that Kagiso Rabada takes most Delhi wickets. He returns 58% of the time.
An IPL special on Cricket...Only Bettor