After successive losses in the Indian T20 League, Delhi will be looking to bounce back with a victory when they take on Hyderabad in Dubai on Tuesday. Even though they look destined for the playoffs and are currently second in the standings with 14 points, the side from the national capital will want to return to winning ways soon and get some confidence back in the squad.

Hyderabad, on the other hand, are practically out of the playoff reckoning and presently find themselves second from bottom in the points table having managed to win just four games all season. However, they got the better of Delhi in their clash earlier this season and will be hoping for a repeat of that on Tuesday.

The head-to-head between the teams also favours Hyderabad, who have won 10 of their 16 games against Delhi. They will be eager to secure a morale-boosting win, if nothing else, against Delhi and here are a few key battles and players that could make a difference in the match.

Ravichandran Ashwin versus David Warner and Manish Pandey

Ravichandran Ashwin hasn’t enjoyed the best of seasons with Delhi and has taken just eight wickets in nine games so far. His bowling average of 36.13 against Hyderabad – his worst against any current Indian T20 League team – isn’t the most encouraging either. Having said that, he has enjoyed some success against some Hyderabad batsmen in the past and will want an upturn in fortune in Dubai. Ashwin’s picked up the wickets of David Warner and Manish Pandey twice in the past and will be keen to add to that tally.

Batsman Innings Run Scored Dismissals Strike Rate
David Warner 8 78 2 105.40
Manish Pandey 11 58 2 111.53

Table: Ravichandran Ashwin vs Warner and Pandey in Indian T20 League.

Sandeep Sharma against Ajinkya Rahane and Shreyas Iyer

Like Ashwin, Hyderabad’s Sandeep Sharma isn’t enjoying the most fruitful of Indian T20 League seasons. Normally a very reliable option for Hyderabad, Sandeep has managed to get just six wickets this year and has been on the expensive side. However, he could play a role against a few of Delhi’s batsman having come out on top against them in a few individual battles in past games. Ajinkya Rahane and Shreyas Iyer are two batsmen from Delhi who will know all about Sandeep having been dismissed by him more than once.

Batsman Innings Run Scored Dismissals Strike Rate
Ajinkya Rahane 8 63 2 92.64
Shreyas Iyer 8 34 3 72.34

Table: Sandeep Sharma vs Rahane and Iyer in Indian T20 League.

Players to watch:

Hyderabad – Jason Holder

Jason Holder has performed well for Hyderabad ever since coming into the team and has taken five wickets in the two games he’s played so far. His economy of 7.50 is the best by a Hyderabad fast bowler barring the injured Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Holder has also excelled in the death overs, strengthening Hyderabad’s bowling in that phase and has taken three wickets in slog overs thus far.

Delhi – Shikhar Dhawan

Following a slow start to the season, Shikhar Dhawan has struck form at the right moment for Delhi and is currently second on the leaderboard for runs (471). He’ll be keen on making amends having missed out in Delhi’s last game against Kolkata and will back himself to add to the two fifties and two centuries that he’s already scored this year.

Stats to watch out for:

4: Wickets needed by Jason Holder to reach 100 T20 Wickets.

17: Runs Needed by Kane Williamson to reach 1500 runs in the Indian T20 League.

17.50: Shikhar Dhawan’s average versus Hyderabad, his lowest against any current team in the Indian T20 League.

327: Kane Williamson has scored 327 runs against Delhi at an average of 54.50, his most runs scored against any team in the Indian T20 League.

356: Runs Rishabh Pant has scored against Hyderabad at an average of 44.50, his most against any current team in the Indian T20 League.

Writer’s pick:

Delhi should have enough firepower to beat Hyderabad and will go into the match as favourites. The losses in their last two games will only be added motivation for the side from the national capital to regain some momentum ahead of the business end of the 2020 Indian T20 League. While Hyderabad do have players to punish Delhi, Shreyas Iyer’s side are the more balanced team and should leave Dubai with maximum points.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Noah  Seelam