IPL 2020 DC vs SRH Qualifier 2 Preview: “Cool and Calm” SRH vs “Messy” Delhi Capitals in battle for IPL finals

IPL 2020 DC vs SRH Qualifier 2: Peaking at the right time and with all their boxes ticked, Sunrisers Hyderabad are certain to hold sway over a dishevelled Delhi Capitals in the second Indian Premier League qualifier on Sunday. The past couple of weeks have been a picture in contrast for the two franchises.

After an underwhelming first half, Sunrisers Hyderabad started pushing the envelope with the mercurial David Warner marshalling his resources well. Capitals, on the other hand, looked like serious contenders till their first nine games, winning seven in that phase before an inexplicable slump saw them lose five out of their next six matches with skipper Shreyas Iyer looking all at sea.

The current situation notwithstanding, young Iyer would want to lead the Capitals to their first summit clash in 13 editions while Warner wouldn’t mind adding another silverware to his 2016 triumph. In fact, if he can win the next two games, Warner could boast of guiding comparatively one of the more inexperienced teams in this IPL.

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But the question is what changed for SRH in the second half of IPL and how did DC land themselves in such a difficult situation despite being a formidable side early in the tournament.

IPL 2020 Qualifier 2: Jason Holder solves the middle-order woes, Kane Williamson back in-form

Before the start of the tournament, SRH’s middle-order was a big concern. The lack of experience had them struggling in the seven games of IPL. But then they included Jason Holder and VOILA! Ever since Holder has joined the team, on October 22, SRH have won five of their six games, and now are just two games away from their second Indian Premier League title.

The Windies skipper has been stellar with both bat and ball. He has picked 13 wickets in six matches besides his couple of cameos with the bat.

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“What we have done in batting is that we have been aggressive upfront. David has obviously led the charge, well supported by (Wriddhiman) Saha. “Jonny (Bairstow) has done an outstanding job and Manish (Pandey) has kept the momentum going,” Holder said when asked about their strategy to face DC attack.

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Against RCB, the 29-year-old picked three wickets for 25. With the bat, on the other hand, he played a cautious innings of 24-runs and allowed Kane Williamson to do the heavy work.

The New Zealand skipper’s 50 not out off 44 balls in IPL Eliminator was his second match-winning contribution this season after a 26-ball 41 against DC in an earlier game, but his presence in the middle-order is beginning to materialise now. SRH had benched him in between, but had to bring him back after they realised that the middle-order was vulnerable without him.

Meanwhile, the bowling department too is in good shape, again courtesy of Holder. Besides him, Rashid Khan’s parsimonious economy rate of less than six runs per over, the unheralded T Natarajan’s subtle variations and Sandeep Sharma’s ability to get some swing upfront only add to the strengths of Warner’s team.

IPL 2020 Qualifier 2: Delhi Capitals clueless as both batting and bowling department has hit a rough patch

For Capitals, the biggest worry has been their top-order woes — especially the first three slots where Shikhar Dhawan (525 in 15 games) has shone the brightest. Prithvi Shaw’s (228 from 13 games) technique against top-quality fast bowling has left a lot to be desired and Ajinkya Rahane (111 from 7 games) has had only one knock of note so far.

Something that would definitely worry coach Ricky Ponting is the number of ducks by the top-order — nine. Dhawan has four, Shaw has three and Rahane didn’t bother the scorers twice.

The bowling unit which looked to be their strength too is struggling. Barring spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, DC’s pace attack of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Norje have gone wicketless three games straight.

Ponting will hope the top to regain form and stop Warner and Manish Pandey from scoring early in the power play. Rabada (25 wickets and Nortje (20 wickets) together have 45 wickets and are amongst the top wicket-takers this season.

DC can exploit SRH’s two weak spots which are middle-order players — Priyam Garg and Abdul Samad — who are playing some of the biggest matches of their nascent careers. In the event Capitals make early inroads, it will be a test of character for the young but talented duo.

Moreover, Shimron Hetmeyer can be back in the side after Daniel Sams’ poor show with the bowl. The left-arm Windies seamer will also add some batting firepower to the batting unit.

In that case, Marcus Stoinis might have to bowl his full quota of overs alongside Rabada, Nortje, Ashwin and Axar Patel.