The Vivo IPL has always been a highly competitive tournament, with it being very hard to predict the eventual winner midway through the season. But every year, fans and pundits start writing a team or two off once the tournament has reached a certain stage. However, the history has seen several teams turning around its fortunes and making strong comebacks midway into the season. A turnaround is what we need to get back in the race, and so do our opponents for Sunday - Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). They sit below us at the bottom of the table, so a high-octane match is on the cards at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi.
The first two games in the capital were carbon copies of each other. Both had 171 being scored in the first innings, with the total being chased down in 18.3 overs. Interestingly, these totals were set by us and SRH. While for us it was a case of not being able to finish big after a solid start, the Hyderabad batters played cautiously until the last couple of overs. Both teams would be looking to address these issues to make the most of the batting-friendly tracks in the capital. SRH seem to have felt a need to address some bigger issues too, as they transferred their captaincy from David Warner to Kane Williamson ahead of Sunday’s game.
Despite not ending up on the winning side, we had some positives to take from the game against Mumbai Indians on Thursday. The openers gave us a good start with a stand of 66, the highest opening partnership for us since the beginning of IPL 2020. Both Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal dispatched some big sixes into the stands. We would be looking at them to continue with their form and provide us with a big start again.
Captain Sanju Samson started the season with a century and has looked promising in the last couple of games as well. After two back-to-back scores of 42, all eyes will be on him yet again to deliver a big score against SRH, a team against whom he enjoys a good record.
Jos Buttler v Sandeep Sharma
Jos Buttler has absolutely dominated the SRH pacer in the three T20s he has faced him in. Buttler has a strike rate of 210 against Sandeep, who hasn’t picked his wicket so far. Our big-hitting opener has had a good look of the Delhi pitch in our first game there and might just be happy to see Sharma running in from the other end on Sunday.
David Miller v Rashid Khan
The left-hander strikes at an impressive 157 against the leggie in T20s. But the Afghan has also got him out twice in three innings. It would undoubtedly be an interesting face-off to witness in the middle overs, if the two come face to face.
Jaydev Unadkat v David Warner
The SRH skipper struggles to score freely against Unadkat, with a strike rate of just 79.4 against our left-arm pacer. We would be hoping that JD keeps Warner quiet on Sunday as well, to help us put pressure on the batters in the Powerplay.
As we approach the halfway point in the tournament, we’ll need more results to go our way. Sunday’s encounter against the Sunrisers presents a chance to make a strong comeback and get some momentum going our way. We need to take the positives from the last game and enter the field with confidence to go one step further and bag those two points.