T20 2018: Shreyas Iyer's Delhi target playoffs but Kane Williamson stands in the way
The Shreyas Iyer-led Delhi have showed resilience after initial setbacks, and the way he has led the side has earned him the captaincy of the India 'A' team that will tour England next month
Sunrisers' opener Shikhar Dhawan plays a sweep shot en route his 33 against Delhi Daredevils in Hyderabad on Saturday. Pic/PTI
Though it's a battle between two teams that are at the extreme ends of the T20 points table, it promises to be a keenly fought affair. Hyderabad are on top of the table and keen to consolidate their position so that they are able to finish in the Top Two. On the other hand, Delhi have been living on the edge for a long time and need a win today to remain in contention for a place in the playoffs.
The Shreyas Iyer-led Delhi have showed resilience after initial setbacks, and the way he has led the side has earned him the captaincy of the India 'A' team that will tour England next month. Of course, that challenge has to wait as his immediate priority is to ensure Delhi remain relevant in IPL-11 for as long as possible. A defeat against Hyderabad will render their remaining three matches inconsequential.
India 'A' boost for DD trio
Along with Shreyas, Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant have also made it to the India 'A' team on the strength of their performances first in domestic cricket and then the T20. They would like to carry their form through the T20 and then to UK.
The way the Delhi have played the last few matches, especially at home here at the Kotla, augers well for them in today's match. But they are up against a side that has the capability to defend the smallest of totals. Thus, the onus will be on the Delhi batsmen to master the Hyderabad bowling unit which has emerged as the best among the eight teams. Speaking on the eve of the match, DD's Colin Munro said: "Yes, obviously, things have not gone according to plan. But to be honest, we have not played as badly as our current position [in the points table] suggests. A couple of games were very close and had they gone our way, the situation would have been better for us.
'Not everything is lost'
"Not everything is lost for us. If we win the last four games at home, we can still be in the playoffs. The team remain upbeat and prides itself in doing well for the franchise right till the last game." Hyderabad, on the other hand, have relied more on their bowling strength, which has held up till now. But the batsmen too need to up the ante as the mega event enters the business end. In the playoffs, one bad outing and it will be the end of their dream. Kane Williamson has filled in excellently for the absent David Warner, both as skipper and batting spearhead. He knows that the team is just a few wins away from glory and would be desperate for his team to maintain the momentum, beginning with a match against a team languishing at the bottom.
DISCLAIMER: mid-day and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.
Here's how Gautam Gambhir was clean bowled by Natasha Jain!