Delhi Capitals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, Abu Dhabi
Pick a mix of top- and middle-order batsmen but also keep in mind Kagiso Rabada’s wicket-taking ability.
Our XI: Jonny Bairstow, Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, David Warner, Manish Pandey, Axar Patel, Kagiso Rabada, Rashid Khan, Anrich Nortje, Khaleel Ahmed
Substitutes: Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson, Mohammad Nabi, Amit Mishra
NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.
Player availability: R Ashwin is recovering well from his shoulder injury but the Delhi Capitals have said that he would be rested for a couple of games as a precautionary measure. Ishant Sharma is also out with back spasms, and there has been no official word on his availability.
Captain: Shreyas Iyer
Iyer has played two cameos, good ones at that, so far in the tournament. He has looked in control and the big innings could be just around the corner. He could be a handful for the Sunrisers, whose attack is low on confidence and lacking bite.
Vice-captain: Kagiso Rabada
Rabada has had an immense impact on the Capitals’ campaign already. He has picked up five wickets at an economy of 6.75 and, more importantly, at a strike rate of 9.6. Against a brittle Sunrisers middle- and lower-middle order, Rabada should make merry.
David Warner: Warner just cannot be left out of your XI given his consistency in the IPL. Forty runs in two innings is well below par for a batsman of Warner’s caliber, and will look to go hard from the get-go to make the most of the powerplay.
Jonny Bairstow: After an early dismissal against the Knight Riders, Bairstow will be eager to contribute again with the bat, especially considering his team has been struggling to put up formidable totals. Bairstow scored 89 runs in two innings last season against the Capitals at strike rate of 150.84.
Manish Pandey: He has been batting in his preferred position – No. 3 – this season and it’s working well. He scored 85 runs in the first two games. Against a strong new-ball attack like the Capitals’, an early dismissal is likely. Expect Pandey to do some repair work before he accelerates.
Axar Patel: He has been immensely economical and has also picked up a wicket in both games so far, at an economy of 4.0. Since the Sunrisers’ line-up has five right-handed batsmen in the top seven, Axar could be handy yet again. Don’t forget that he can bat as well.
Khaleel Ahmed: The leading wicket-taker for the Sunrisers last season, Ahmed provided the Sunrisers an early wicket in the only game he’s played so far. He has a strike rate of 12.2 in the IPL since 2018, second only to Rabada.
The average first-wicket partnership at the venue this season is 27 in the first innings and 8 in the second. Going by this trend, it makes more sense to have a middle-order batsman as your captain. But one of the Sunrisers openers would be a good option too.
Mohammad Nabi is less effective if he doesn’t bowl in the powerplay. Since 2018 in all T20s, his strike rate in the middle overs goes down to 28.3 from 22.1 in the powerplay. His economy is 6.50 in the powerplay and 7.0 in the middle overs. He did not bowl in the powerplay in the last game but against a left-hand batter like Shikhar Dhawan, he could open the bowling.
Kane Williamson may still not find a place in the XI but if he does start, replace one of the Sunrisers batsmen with him.
If Williamson does play, he can be the vice-captain. But if he doesn’t, the Sunrisers will have a brittle middle order and Rabada will be the better vice-captain option.
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