Ed Hawkins previews the Indian Premier League contest from Dubai on Tuesday with the sun getting ready to set on Hyderabad...
"Drop Rahane and promote Rishabh Pant or Marcus Stoinis. If Hetmyer plays, they have plenty at the death still to finish a game. Pant is 4/1 with Sportsbook and overdue. Stoinis is 15/2."
Sunrisers Hyderabad v Delhi Capitals
Tuesday October 27, 14:00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Sunrisers have mathematical chances of making the play-offs but they know, deep down, their season is over. They saved possibly their most insipid performance of the season for their must-win clash against Kings XI last time out.
Set just 127 for a victory that would revive their campaign, they collapsed horribly from 100 for three in the 17th to 114 all out. It was a barely believable defeat and in a tournament which consistently throws up such ill-discipline and amateur batting, it must rank as one of the worst.
The bowlers, of course, had done a good job. Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma and Jason Holder each took two wickets each. Only David Warner (35 from 20) showed the right attitude.
Possible XI Warner, Bairstow, Pandey, Shankar, Garg, Samad, Holder, Rashid Khan, Sandeep, Khaleel, Natarajan
Are the Capitals beginning to creak? With their play-off position seemingly impregnable they have lost their last two. Defeats by Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI will be a concern because they came chasing and defending - a double whammy.
Against Kolkata their bowlers went round the park just as tournament runscoring and wickets were slowing up. The chase never seemed on once they had lost two by the third. From such a strong start, they look like they've been having a laugh and now need to get game faces on.
Shikhar Dhawan has been their rock and there is a possibility that the rest of the batting have got too lazy and rely on him to do it all. His century against Kings gave them a chance to defend 165 but the game was over with an over to spare.
They could be stronger and perhaps the time is now to bring in Sandeep Lamichhane and make the call on Shimron Hetmyer, who seems a luxury given Axar Patel's hitting form. They also have an issue in the opening slots with Ajinkya Rahane and Prithvi Shaw struggling.
Probable XI Rahane, Dhawan, Iyer, Pant, Stoinis, Hetmyer, Axar, Ashwin, Rabada, Deshpande, Nortje.
- SRH 162-4 (Bairstow 53, Rabada 2-21) defended DC 147-7 (Dhawan 34, Rashid 3-14)
- DC 165-8 (Pant 49, Rashid 2014) chased SRH 162-8
- DC 155-7 (Munro 55, Khaleel 3-30) defended SRH 116 (Warner 51, Rabada 4-22)
- SRH 131-5 (Bairstow 48) chased DC 129-8 (Iyer 43)
- SRH 10 DC 6
The Dubai surfaces are showing signs of wear and tear. Not surprising considering this list of inning scores (1-2 denote match won by team batting first or second): 145-2/126-1/154-2/164-2/176-t/177-na/161-1/167-1/158-2/169-1/201-1/196-1/178-2/164-1/174-1/201-t/175-1/206-1/163-1/157-t.
With runscoring getting tougher, the side batting first is less sure of what a good total is and we're seeing a reverse of the toss bias from the first half of the competition when the defender held sway. Getting low of first-dig scores at 140 or 150 for little risk is a solid strategy, particularly if Sunrisers bat first.
DC should be too strong
In the Match Odds, Sunrisers are 2.1011/10 with Delhi 1.804/5. Given the respective positions in the table one could be forgiven for being surprised that Delhi are not in the 1.705/7 region.
With their qualification hopes surely forlorn and Delhi a much stronger XI, they really should make light work of a Sunrisers team low on confidence and smarts. Under David Warner and Trevor Bayliss it has been the surprise of the tournament that they have so consistently failed to address their middle-order slowdown despite ready-made remedies in Mohammad Nabi and Fabian Allen on the bench.
The reason for the uncertainty in the market is probably down to the toss. The chaser will probably have an advantage as teams are beginning to look unsure about what a good score is up front.
The solution to Delhi's opening woes seems obvious to us - drop Rahane and promote Rishabh Pant or Marcus Stoinis. If Hetmyer plays, they have plenty at the death still to finish a game. Pant is 4/1 with Sportsbook and overdue. Stoinis is 15/2.
Kagiso Rabada has been price-boosted to 9/5 from 6/4 by Betfair Sportsbook for most wickets for Delhi. He won last time on the head-to-head and is the most consistent wicket-taker in the tournament. Rashid Khan's head-to-head form makes him appeal at 9/5.
Ed's IPL P-L