Brief Scores: Delhi Capitals 159/4 (Prithvi Shaw 53) tied with SRH 159/7 (Kane Williamson 66*; Avesh Khan 3-34); DC won the Super Over
The first Super Over of the Indian Premier League 2021 saw Delhi Capitals get over the line on the last ball after what had been a hard-fought win. It was their fourth victory in five games, as the table between the top three sides and the bottom two teams keeps increasing. While Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi have eight points each, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders have just two, and the sides will have to bring out their ‘A’ game as they look to put up a fight.
Here are the talking points from the match between Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Why didn’t Bairstow walk out to bat in the Super Over?
In a strange move, one of the best batters from the SRH camp – Jonny Bairstow, who scored 38 and hit four sixes – did not walk out to bat alongside Kane Williamson in the Super Over. Instead, David Warner walked out to bat, and took strike against Axar Patel. The left-handed Australian has not had the best run in the IPL this season, scoring only 130 runs at a strike rate of 116.07. He has been unable to strike it big and has found trouble middling the ball, which made the decision to walk into bat ahead of the Englishman even more bizarre. Moreover, Warner ran out run short in the Super Over, which meant that Delhi Capitals were left with 8 runs to chase. With 1 needing off 1 ball in the end, the short run cost SRH dear.
Prithvi Shaw has really upped his game
The Delhi Capitals team have been led by the contribution of their openers Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw, who have been the stalwarts for the franchise this season. The duo have amassed 420 runs combined for Delhi Capitals, and have played a huge role in the side’s wins. While Shaw has upped his game and has emerged as a real enforcer, Shikhar Dhawan has changed his game and has been giving his team aggressive starts after transforming his game. Against the Sunrisers Hyderabad team, it was Shaw who led the charge especially in the powerplay overs. He started with three successive fours and showed that one can bat with intent even on the sticky wicket at the M A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. He had a control percentage of 84 (according to Cricviz) by the 10th over of the innings, and his new technique is pleasing to see. The youngster, who was called out for his technical flaws in the last IPL and the subsequent tour of Australia, has worked hard on his game, and has emerged as the true MVP of the Delhi side.
Kane Williamson is SRH’s saving grace
SRH did not play Kane Williamson for the first few games of the IPL this year despite the cricketer passing the fitness test. The camp were eager to bolster their middle order, and thus played Mohammad Nabi and Jason Holder over him, but Williamson remains an integral part of the franchise, which was displayed on Sunday. The Kiwi skipper had smashed 317 runs in the tournament last year at an average of 45.3 and a strike rate of nearing 134. He was picked against the Mumbai Indians for the first time this season, and was persisted with against Delhi Capitals. The cricketer showed just why he is a must-pick in the side as he scored 67 off 61 balls and led the run chase after SRH had lost a cluster of wickets upfront. With David Warner in not the best of forms of late, the presence of Kane adds balance to the side, and lends a calming presence to the unit. However, on the downside, the bowling and the middle order only relies on young Indian players, and the inexperience has proven to be their Achilles Heel this season.
Manish Pandey – where is he?
Though Manish Pandey did not have the best outing in the season thus far – scoring 101 runs at a strike rate of just 112 – there is no doubt that he is one of the most experienced players in the unit, and could have played his part in steering the run chase on a wicket where anchoring was the need of the hour. Though SRH have one of the best top orders, in David Warner, Kane Williamson and Jonny Bairstow, the middle order does not have experience and big-hitters, who can change the complexion of the game, Virat Singh, Abhishek Sharma, Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Shankar (the latter are way past their prime) do not inspire much confidence, and on tracks such as the ones found at the Chepauk, Pandey should have been included. Last season, Kedar Jadhav lost Chennai Super Kings more games than he helped them win, as he scored 62 runs at a strike rate of just 93.93. In comparison, Pandey had scored 425 runs at a rate of 127.62, and though his strike rate has been criticized of late, there is no reason to believe that the likes of Virat, Kedar or Shankar are better batters than Pandey.
Bidding adieu to Chennai
The IPL moves out of Chennai, which will be good news for most batting-heavy teams considering the wickets dished out in the last few games were anything but “good.” The pitches were tough to score on, batting second was not at all easy and the slow tracks made it a snooze fest. Though the action now moves to Delhi, and we can not really promise entertaining games there either, with the Kotla being known for its spin friendly wickets.