Delhi Capitals v Sunrisers Hyderabdad
Thursday Apr 4, 15:30
Live on BT Sport and Star Gold (Sky channel 729)
Capitals consistency conundrum
The Capitals have two wins and two losses from their opening four matches and it's tough to judge whether they are serious contenders. The rebrand from Daredevils in previous years of the IPL does seem to have given them a little extra. The wins came in Mumbai and in an amazing Super Over against KKR when Kagiso Rabada defended 10 runs with pacey yorkers. They lost at home to CSK and on the road to Kings XI Punjab. It's been a mixed bag, sometimes superb, yet very much a hark back to their old Daredevils vibe in the last defeat. They spontaneously combusted as Sam Curran took four wickets in his last five balls to deny them the chase by 14 runs against KXIP.
The Capitals have some serious young talent with Rabada one of the most exciting pacemen in the world game and Privthi Shaw and Rishabh Pant destined to thrill Indian supporters over the next decade. The problem with young talent is that one moment it has you on the edge of your seat, the next it lets you down. And, at the moment, it's the inconsistency of Delhi that prevents a punter from getting too excited.
Sunrisers looking good to go deep in IPL 2019
Sunrisers had lost to KKR in their opening game, but Kolkata is always a tough trip. Since then they have looked like the SRH team I expect to be contesting the latter stages of this year's tournament. They beat Rajasthan Royals by five wickets as David Warner and Jonny Bairstow raced to an opening partnership of 110. Then the opening pair swept aside the Royal Challengers by a massive 118-run winning margin with the opening pair both clobbering centuries as they added an IPL record for the first wicket of 185 in 16.2 overs.
This Sunrisers side is well-balanced and firing on all cylinders. And any side that has the world's best one-day spinner at its disposal always has chances in tight games. Afghanistan's Rashid Khan is quite simply brilliant. He possesses a wicket-taking threat and concedes very few runs. That's a recipe to add value to an impressive bowling attack.
These two sides have met 12 times in the IPL and after taking the first four wins, Sunrisers lead the head-to-head 8-4. In the two fixtures played last year Sunrisers were dominant with a seven wicket success in Hyderabad and a nine wicket win in this corresponding fixture. In five meetings at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground, Sunrisers have won four times. It's a stat that cannot be ignored and with their top order in top gear the home side could be in for a tough time. I'm with the Sunrisers Hyderabad to win at [1.87].
The Capitals line up with Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw and Shreyas Iyer taking the responsibility through the powerplay and then, if the script goes right, Rishabh Pant and Colin Ingram providing the middle-order punch.
Pant top scored with 78 in Delhi's first match, Shikhar led the way with 51 in the second, Shaw made 99 in game three and Pant was back at the top with 39 in the last game. Basically, the message is that it is shared around and with the compilers wiser than they were to the threat of Pant, and his price narrowing accordingly to 10/3.
I can't trust captain Iyer yet as he has failed to go big so far in the tournament. I've been a Pant punter for some time now, but as the market shifts, the value lies with Prithvi Shaw at 4/1. At the top of the order he is always going to get time to put together a score. He is undoubtedly the next cab of the rank in terms of Indian adoration.
The most unlikely friendship of IPL 2019 seems to being forged between two fierce adversaries. There has never been too much love lost as Jonny Bairstow and David Warner have locked horns for England and Australia. But united in Sunriser yellow, they have produced marvellous fireworks at the top of the order. Warner slid back into competitive action after his year-long suspension with 85 in Hyderabad's first game. His 69 landed this market again in the second match and Bairstow's sublime 114 took the prize pot in Sunday's massacre of Bangalore.
The difficulty in even trying to oppose the Ashes rivals is that they are not giving their teammates time at the crease. Factor in that they are human beings and will fail occasionally and the prices of 9/4 on Warner and 13/5 on Bairstow in the Sunrisers top batsman market do not get my juices flowing.
And, if you do bypass the short-priced favourites, you are betting in reputation, not form, as the Sunrisers middle-order has been collecting their pay cheques on the deeds of others in the last week. The bet I would prefer is 8/11 for Sunrisers to have the highest opening partnership.
We all have a punt so we can sit back and enjoy the game with a little added spice. The Man of the Match markets are a full match experience. As Sam Curran showed for Kings XI a few days ago, a player can make his bid for the award in the final over. Curran would have been nowhere in the adjudicators thoughts until his late hat-trick.
After avoiding David Warner and Jonny Bairstow in the SRH Top Batsman markets, I am tempted by them both to take Man of the Match. I fancy Sunrisers to win this game and if the opening pair go close to replicating their recent form, the price of 6/1 on Warner and 8/1 on Bairstow in this market is far more juicy than for them to be their side's top scorer. Play both men at half stakes.