Tag Archives: DC

Eliminator 1 Preview – Delhi Capitals Vs Sunrisers Hyderabad

Shreyas-Iyer-Rishabh-Pant-SRH-DC-IPL-2019

Shreyas Iyer (Left) and Rishabh Pant (Right) will be crucial for Delhi Capitals in their Eliminator clash against SRH

Delhi Capitals will be wondering what they are doing in the first eliminator after a stellar league phase finishing on 18 points. That’s how good the competition has been this season. Both Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians beat them by just a smidgen to get to the top of the table. This means that DC will take on Sun Risers Hyderabad who have qualified for the play-offs by skin of their teeth. Both teams have had their issues but in this encounter, Delhi Capitals surely start as the overwhelming favourites.

DC’s batting is more settled and their bowling attack has been doing well throughout. Even though missing the purple cap holder Kagiso Rabada will be a huge blow for them, they still have the bowlers to cause trouble to the struggling SRH batting line up. Trent Boult had a good game against Rajasthan Royals and with Ishant Sharma bowling brilliantly with the new ball they have a good attack which can be hand full on their day. The batting has always been DC’s strength though. Their captain Shreyas Iyer has been in great form throughout and even though Rishabh Pant has been inconsistent, he can on his day turn any match on its head. With the experience of Shikhar Dhawan at the top, DC have almost all bases covered and are probably one of the most stable sides of the tournament.

Sunrisers-Hyderabad-IPL-2019

SunRisers Hyderabad will rely on their bowling attack and runs from their captain in their crucial clash against Delhi Capitals

For SRH though, things haven’t been that rosy. They have qualified for the play-offs on 12 points which is the lowest in the history of the IPL so far. Their batting was dragged along by David Warner and Jonny Bairstow through the season and they have struggled for runs since their departure. Their Captain Kane Williamson had a very good game against Royal Challengers Bangalore but again they would need contributions from rest of the batting to put pressure on DC. With Khaleel Ahmed with the new ball along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, their bowling though has looked good but once again their trump card will be Rashid Khan. He has been their go to bowler this season as well and once again will be crucial in the eliminator.

Key Players:

Shreyas Iyer (DC) – The captain of Delhi Capitals has been the linchpin of their batting through the season. He has scored 442 runs this season and has been the cool head in the middle overs guiding the team through some important phases of the game. He will once again be important not only with his batting but also with his captaincy in the field.

Rishabh Pant (DC) – Pant has had a frustrating series with the bat. When you look at his numbers (401 runs at 36 at a SR of 157), it does not look bad but again his temperament has come into question a few times. He does bring an X-Factor to Delhi batting though. If he gets going, it will be difficult for the opposition to stop. DC will be hoping that he has a good day.

Kane Williamson (SRH) – Williamson by his standards has had a very poor season. The 70 runs he scored against RCB was his first 50 of the season which has been very ordinary. Williamson though is a very good captain and he had led SRH to an IPL final last year and his leadership along with some runs at the top will be crucial for SRH to put up a fighting total.

Rashid Khan (SRH) – Rashid is second in the list of wicket takers for SRH but once again he will be the crucial cog in their bowling arsenal this evening. He bowls majority of his overs in the middle phase of the game and picking up wickets during that time will be crucial in restricting DC to a manageable score.

This will be an interesting game and even though Delhi will start as the favourites, we need to keep in mind that they have never won a play-off game yet. They will be under tremendous pressure to achieve what they haven’t in 12 years of this competition. For SRH though they have won IPL before and they were the finalists last year as well. This will be a close game but I feel that DC just has the edge to pull through this one. DC might play the same XI they played in their last league game but SRH might make couple of changes based on the surface.

Possible XI:

Delhi Capitals – Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer (C), Rishabh Pant (WK), Colin Ingram, Sherfane Rutherford, Axar Patel, Keemo Paul, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Trent Boult.

Sun Risers Hyderabad – Martin Guptill, Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson (C), Vijay Shankar, Yusuf Pathan, Mohammad Nabi/Billy Stanlake, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Basil Thampi/Siddarth Kaul

Quotes:

“We have to take the confidence from our win against them in Hyderabad. They also beat us in Delhi, so both the teams are fairly confident, and it is going to be a tough match. However, they are also missing some of their players, and we are without Kagiso now, so it is going to be a difficult task as well, but a well-matched encounter” – Shreyas Iyer, Delhi Capitals captain

Fairly Tale ending to IPL 2

Deccan chargers with the IPL trophy

Deccan chargers with the IPL trophy

Who would have thought at the start of IPL 2 that DC and BLR will be in the finals? It was just a scriptwriter’s dream as to how these two teams made it to the finals against all odds. The IPL 2 was a big success considering that it was staged outside India. The grounds were full all the time and the support from the South African public was phenomenal. First of all thanks to the people of SA for the excellent support and hope they were entertained.

When the IPL started the favorites were the RR, DD, CSK and Kings X1 to make it to the last four. KKR was the most hyped team and I never thought they had a chance to make it to the semis. When the tournament reached the final stages only DD and CSK fulfilled their potential. The final four was a surprise to everyone when BRC and DC joined DD and CSk.
BRC’s biggest signing of the year KP was the biggest flop for them in terms of both captaincy and a player. The franchise owners should realize that getting expensive international players isn’t going to help their cause. As Dhoni rightly pointed out, teams with good domestic players will have the edge. KKR does not have a good pool of young Indian players and their over reliance on foreign batters cost them heavily. The fact that they had to play 4 foreign players in the top order forced them not to play Langaveldt and Mortaza till the final two games.

The fairy tale ride for BRC began when KP went back to England to face WI and Anil Kumble was made the captain of the team. Anil led by example and bowled beautifully throughout the series and claimed most wickets for his team with a brilliant economy rate. BRC recovered exceedingly well from an early slump to claim a semi-final birth alongside CSK, DD and DC. They unearthed a little gem in Manish Pandey who scored a brilliant hundred and the first by an Indian in the IPL. He is just 19 years old and I hope that he has a great future.

DC though had a different route to the finals. They started off in a brilliant fashion winning their first four games but had a bumpy ride after that. They needed Chennai to beat Kings X1 to assure them a Semi-Finals spot. Their biggest assets were their youngsters like Suman, Rohit (Who even got a hattrick this season) and RP Singh. Adam Gilchrist made the captain this season also helped Deccan a lot as he led them brilliantly and also was their highest run getter.

DD and CSK though will be very disappointed with their Semi-Finals effort and both the teams lost pretty easily in their respective games. Batting deserted both DD and CSK when they needed the most and the tags of favorites also probably put lots of pressure on the youngsters. DD relied heavily on foreign recruits for their batting as Sehwag and Ghambir were not in great form. CSK though had Matthew Hayden in brilliant form at the top, followed by Raina, Badri and Dhoni who were a great supporting act. All in all it was a brilliant season for the tournament favorites but they will be really disappointed with their efforts in the Semi’s.

The final though was played between probably the worst two teams of 2008 edition of the IPL. It was a brilliant game and both the teams fought tooth and nail for the trophy and finally Deccan Chargers emerged victorious by a whisker. Chasing 144 to win in the finals on that pitch should have been achieved by the BRC batters but the constant pressure applied by the DC bowlers caused them to lose wickets at regular intervals.

All in all it was a brilliant tournament and in terms of cricketing standards, it was better than IPL 1. The games were closer and so was the tournament. 7 teams had a chance to get in to the semis till the last week. Bowlers had more of a say this time. Totals over 200 was achieved only once this year and totals under 120 was defended successfully twice.

Congrats again to Deccan for the brilliant win and also to Adam Gilchrist who led by example and sparked a great turnaround for the franchise.

Chennai the “Super Kings”

How things can change in couple of weeks in cricket. I wrote an article couple of weeks back about DD and DC dominating the IPL2, but while DD are still at the top of the rankings, DC is fighting with the rest of the teams for the Semi-Finals spot. CSK have been the biggest movers in the last few weeks. They have now won 5 games in a row to move to the second place behind DD.

CSK have got the right combination going with Jakati and Tyagi being great additions to the team. Batting at the top has been firing for them and the bowlers are doing their job. CSK have almost got themselves at the door for the semi-finals spot. They have 4 games to go and 1 or 2 wins will ensure them a spot in the semi-finals. The only concern for the CSK is their fielding. They have dropped awful lot of catches in the tournament and almost lost the game against Kings X1 due to their bad fielding.

Dhoni was quick to acknowledge the same. They gave an improved performance against the Rajasthan Royals over the weekend but they have a long way to go in that respect. Batting has been phenomenal with Hayden at the top doing wonders for them with great support from Raina, Badri and Dhoni. Bowling has been adequate with Murali doing well with Balaji, Tyagi, Jakati and Morkel doing the support act. All in all it has been a brilliant week for the Dhoni’s men. I hope that they lift the trophy this year.

Delhi has continued their brilliant run in the competition with couple of wins over the past week and has done well without Sehwag. Ghambir has captained the team well and David Warner has done the job for them in the absence of Sehwag. Their bowling also has been consistent with Nannes and Nehra doing a brilliant job at the top and Mishra doing a good supporting act. I would like to see McGrath getting a game in the competition. Probably they can rest Nannes for a game and give McGrath a go as Delhi are almost a certainty for the semi-finals spot.

The Rajasthan Royals though have had a good week too. As I am writing this article they are playing Deccan Chargers in an important game. RR have won 3 and lost 1 over the past week and are currently sitting at number 3 in the rankings. Batting has been the biggest worry for the RR’s and Shane Watson pulling out due to injury would have been a big setback for them. RR though has found a good opening partner for Smith in Naman Ojha. He has been consistent and has looked good. RR though is still to find a consistent playing X1. They are also well placed for a semi-finals spot at this moment.

DC though has had a bad week. After four wins on the trot, they have just won 1 out of the next 5 games. They are barely hanging on to the top four at this moment with Kings X1, Mumbai Indians and BRC breathing down their neck. With KKR totally out of contention, it’s between, Punjab, Mumbai and Bangalore to compete to get to the top four this week.

Bangalore play KKR tomorrow and a win would place them in top 5 and a shot to push for the semi-finals spot this week. All in all it has been another fantastic week in IPL2 with constant changes in the ranking with every game. The top spot has changed at least 3-4 times over the last week which shows how close all the teams are this year. I am happy as my team has finally captured the form which got them to the finals last year and I hope that this year they go one step further.

IPL – CSK and BRC throw the tournament open

As I write this article, CSK have just thumped DC to register their 3rd consecutive victory in IPL2 to move to top position in the table. The last one week has been brilliant for BRC and CSK as they have shrugged of the indifferent form to get back into the tournament. This IPL is much closer than last year and it seems like any of the 7 teams (KKR excluded) can make it to the Semi-Finals.

This was a disappointing week for the Deccan Chargers as they have had 3 poor games in a row now. Their batting has failed and their fielding also has let them down. Dropped catches and misfields have cost them dearly in the last few games. Delhi Daredevils have also had couple of losses in a row now. Their batting let them down on both the occasions.

Sehwag and Ghambir haven’t fired yet for them and that is costing DD a lot in IPL 2. DD though would be really happy with the debut of Australian David Warner as he made a brilliant 50 against the CSK over the weekend.

The other team on the rise is BRC. BRC were the worst team in the first edition but this time they seem to have found the right combination. They thrashed Mumbai Indians by 9 wickets yesterday to register their 3rd consecutive win and fourth overall to reach the top 4. Kallis seems to be in great form and with Dravid back in the side and Boucher firing in the middle order they seem to be serious contenders for the semi-finals spot. Uthappa also came back to form with a brilliant 60 odd against the Mumbai Indians.

Mumbai Indians and RR though have had mixed results over the last one week and are also in the running for the semi-finals spot with 3 wins and 3 losses. MI had their batting to blame against the BRC yesterday and it seems like they rely too much on Sachin and Jayasuriya to give them a good start. Kings X1 Punjab have also had a good tournament so far after losing their first 2 games. They have won 4 out of the next 5 games which puts them at 2 spot currently on the table behind CSK.

KKR are languishing at the bottom of the table and have had another poor week. They haven’t won any games in the past week and look like the only team who don’t have any chance of making it to the Semis. Their biggest problem has been their batting. Ganguly and Mccullum have been the biggest offenders. Brad Hodge has been consistent and with Chris Gayle going back to resume his National duties, it’s going to get tougher for them. The good news though for them is that David Hussey might be back for them this week as Aussies have wrapped up the ODI series against the Pakistanis.

There will be few Aussies who will return to join their franchises this week. Brett Lee will join Kings X1 and Shane Watson will join the RR. These two will be the biggest in terms of the effect they can have on their respective teams. Shane Watson is in brilliant batting form and is a good bowler and his return will give Shane Warne a big relief.

All in all it’s been another brilliant week of cricket with lots of close games. I am happy as my team CSK is doing great.