Sharma could shake down Capitals



Sunrisers Hyderabad v Delhi Capitals
Sunday 25 April, 15:00
TV: live on Sky Sports

Sunrisers still not getting it right

Sunrisers got their first win of the campaign last time out, beating an imbalanced Punjab Kings team. But few believe they have suddenly turned a corner; their balance is all over the shop.

Bringing Kane Williamson into the side is a good move. Likewise returning to Khaleel Ahmed and Sidd Kaul with the ball. It’s in the middle where it goes wrong. Kedar Jadav and Vijay Shankar is stodge central. Virat Singh at No 4 is interesting as his boundary percentage is good and he has potential.

But we’d prefer the potentially brilliant Abdul Samad in that role. There are doubts about his fitness, though.

Possible XI Warner, Bairstow, Williamson, Singh, Jadav, Shankar, Abhishek, Rashid, Kumar, Khaleel, Kaul

Delhi going well

Delhi, three wins from four, are buzzing after beating Mumbai Indians. They immediately got to grips with the tricky surface in Chennai which is some feat because they are set up for flatter tracks.

Combining Amit Mishra with Ravi Ashwin is a sensible ploy. Likewise using Steve Smith as anchor for an innings which may only require guiding to 160 to be of huge value.

Still, the balance isn’t bang on. It is hard not to reckon that Pant, Stoinis and Hetmyer at Nos 5, 6 and 7 is hiding their collective raging against the light under a bushel. Let them all loose a place higher up.

Possible XI Shaw, Dhawan, Smith, L Yadav, Pant, Stoinis, Hetmyer, Ashwin, Mishra, Rabada, A Khan

Pitch report

The Chennai surface is difficult for batters but a dream for the spin bowlers, who have been able to suffocate and squeeze teams. More than 160 has been busted only thrice in this tournament at the venue and 59% of matches produce a first-dog score lower than 160 since 2019. Run rate, however, is slightly up by 0.4 runs per over compared to the 2019 edition. Laying 160 or more in the first at [2.10 or shorter is the way to go.

No advantage for SRH

The expected Sunrisers domination at Chennai has not materialised. Many thought a spinning surface would assist the likes of Rashid Khan. Instead, the spin-friendly nature has just brought his opponents closer to his ability. No edge.

Sunrisers have now lost six out of seven at the ground. No wonder, then, that they are outsiders at 2.206/5. Delhi are 1.804/5. They are exactly the odds we were expecting.

Tops value

Abhishek Sharma has emerged as a key player for Sunrisers. He has been opening the bowling and picking up wickets (two against Punjab last time).

The surface, of course, is a huge help. Likewise that he is bowling in the first powerplay where batters are prepared to take more risk. So the 7/1 that Sportsbook offer is toppy in the extreme. We’re betting for a dead heat.

Two bets for players who we don’t expect to play now but we’d be kicking ourselves if we didn’t highlight the value. Abdul Samad should be a minimum of 16s for top Sunrisers bat. His hitting will come good one day and we don’t want to miss out. The 16/1 about Mohammad Nabi is also strong for man of the match.

David Warner has been price-boosted to 12/5 for top Sunrisers bat and there’s an edge there. Likewise on Shikhar Dhawan for another win for top Delhi bat. You might prefer top match bat prices instead of 7/2 and 4/1 respectively.