Will David Warner be welcomed back into the SRH set up? Stripped off captaincy midway through the season and then axed from the XI for the game against Rajasthan Royals has meant this has been his worst IPL season, by some distance. But the pandemic-induced break has led to a few changes in dynamics thereafter. SRH are no longer with the services of this season’s most successful batsman – Jonny Bairstow – from that first half. That leaves an opening for SRH’s most successful batsman (all-time) a shot at redemption.
But with six losses from seven games so far, his team might not have a similar shot this season. So tumultuous has their season been that they constantly changed around with their playing elevens, making as many as 15 changes and never playing with successive elevens. But individuals stand to gain a lot with performances in this half of the tournament, particularly with the T20 World Cup nearing and good performances here are likely to get them further ahead in the rat race.
That race will find some echo in their opposition ranks as well. For the likes of Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan – who set the first half alight with 512 partnership runs as openers – will consider themselves unfortunate to miss out on a spot in the World Cup squad. But they’d recognise that this part of the tournament could cement their place as frontrunners in case a back up is sought.
The return of Shreyas Iyer also provides the team with additional balance, alluded head coach Ricky Ponting. This means that there is a chance that Delhi could plug their leak in the death overs by getting the successful pair of Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada back together. In Iyer’s absence, Nortje didn’t feature in the first half with Delhi looking towards Steve Smith’s batting for the balance of their side. And Iyer himself will be keen to get his way back up in the pecking order for India.
The subtexts thus could mean that Delhi, who are already in the second spot in the points table, feel further strengthened and closer to their first eleven of choice. And as a young captain, Rishabh Pant could not possibly ask for more leading in to the business end of the tournament.
– If selected, Amit Mishra will become the first player to feature in 100 matches for Delhi franchise in IPL. He is four wickets behind Lasith Malinga tally of 170 wickets – the most by a bowler in IPL history.
– Rashid Khan has a tremendous T20 record in Dubai, having picked 17 wickets in 12 matches at an economy rate of 4.55.
-Delhi Capitals have hit the fewest sixes in IPL 2021 (32) but the most fours (142).
When:Wednesday, September 22, 2021 at 19:30 IST
Where:Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
What to expect: The Dubai surface has shown some assistance for the seamers early on. If this continues, pace could play a decisive role with both sides possessing world-class personnel.