Match Preview – Sunrisers vs Capitals, Indian Premier League 2023, 34th Match
Big picture: SRH, Capitals search for a quick fix to batting woes
This has led to constant chopping and changing in the Capitals unit. They have made 12 changes to their side in the six games and are yet to name an unchanged XI.
The onus as such will once again be on Warner, who returns to one of his favourite venues. Warner has 15 fifties and three hundreds in 31 innings in Hyderabad and has scored 1602 runs – the most for any batter at this venue in IPL.
Sunrisers’ batting has been found wanting as well. They have played musical chairs with their opening combination, having used four different pairs in six games. Mayank Agarwal, who opened the innings in the first five games, was pushed to No.6 in the last encounter, with Harry Brook and Abhishek Sharma opening.
However, the inconsistency of the top order is what will worry Sunrisers more. Barring the hundred against KKR, Brook hasn’t lit up the IPL. Ditto for Rahul Tripathi and Aiden Markram. Sunrisers will also hope for Washington Sundar to contribute more. The allrounder is yet to pick a wicket in the competition in 13.4 overs and has scored just 36 runs with the bat in four innings.
Sunrisers Hyderabad LLWWL (last five matches, most recent first)
Delhi Capitals WLLLL
Team news: Capitals rope in Garg for Nagarkoti
Meanwhile, Brian Lara, the SRH head coach, confirmed the team would go with the Brook-Abhishek opening combination for a “period of time”, while Mayank plays the role of a floater. For Capitals, barring Khaleel Ahmed’s hamstring injury last week, there haven’t been any further updates. Shaw’s position in the side might come under the scanner.
Impact Player strategy
It has been a horses-for-courses strategy as far as the Impact Player goes for SRH, with no consistent pattern. In the last game against Chennai Super Kings, they had Mayank Dagar coming in for Rahul Tripathi after the first innings. If SRH bat first, they could have Tripathi in the playing XI and swap him with T Natarajan or Dagar for the second innings, depending on the surface. And vice-versa if they bowl first.
Probable XII: 1 Harry Brook, 2 Abhishek Sharma, 3 Rahul Tripathi, 4 Aiden Markram, 5 Mayank Agarwal, 6 Heinrich Klaasen, 7 Marco Jansen, 8 Washington Sundar, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Mayank Markande, 11 Umran Malik, 12 T Natarajan/Mayank Dagar
Having finally won a game, Capitals might not want to tinker with their combination unless they want a change at the top. Shaw has been used as an Impact Player in the last four games, and if he is benched, Delhi could opt open with Phil Salt, with Sarfaraz Khan slotting in the middle order. And, he could swap with Ishant Sharma or Mukesh Kumar as an Impact sub.
Probable XII: 1 David Warner (capt), 2 Phil Salt (wk), 3 Mitchell Marsh, 4 Prithvi Shaw/Sarfaraz Khan, 5 Manish Pandey, 6 Axar Patel, 7 Lalit Yadav, 8 Aman Khan, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Anrich Nortje, 11 Mukesh Kumar, 12 Ishant Sharma
Stats that matter
- Manish Pandey averages just 5.0 against Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He has fallen to the fast bowler four times in six innings.
- David Warner’s 1602 runs in Hyderabad are the fourth-most for a batter at a venue, behind Virat Kohli (2545 in Bengaluru), AB de Villiers (1960 in Bengaluru) and Rohit Sharma (1602 in Mumbai).
- Capitals are yet to hit a six in the powerplay this season. They have collectively managed just 15 sixes in the season so far.
- Rahul Tripathi strikes at 242.85 against Kuldeep Yadav in T20s.
Pitch and conditions
The surface at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium has favoured the batting team in the three matches so far. With the sun baking down, there are chances of a few cracks opening up, which might assist the spinners. Dew might also be a factor in the second half of the game. Teams batting first have won two of the three games so far here.
“A win changes the environment in the team. A few doubts creep in when you’re not able to cross the line. Our win in the last match will help us build confidence.”
Axar Patel is confident of Capitals’ bouncebackability
The big question
What should Mayank Agarwal’s position be in the SRH batting line-up?
Ashish Pant is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo