Record-breaking Sunrisers seek to spoil Capitals’ homecoming

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Match details

Delhi Capitals (P7 W3 L4 6th) vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (P6 W4 L2 4th)
New Delhi, 7.30pm IST (2pm GMT)

Big picture – Delhi Capitals’ homecoming

After setting up base in Visakhapatnam for the first half of the season, Delhi Capitals are back in the national capital for their first game at the Arun Jaitley Stadium this season. Capitals played two games in Vizag this year, winning one and losing the other.

For Capitals captain Rishabh Pant, it will be his first appearance in front of the Delhi home crowd after his return to competitive cricket since his horror car crash in December 2022. Pant, after a slow start to the season, has found his rhythm, scoring 210 from seven games with two fifties. His strike rate of 156.72 is also his best in an IPL season since 2019. He has been excellent behind the stumps as well, and was named Player of the Match in Capitals’ last game primarily for his wicketkeeping.

But Capitals’ homecoming could easily end up not being a happy one as they go up against a rampaging Sunrisers Hyderabad side that has not once, but twice broken the record for the highest total in the history of the IPL.

How Khaleel Ahmed and Ishant Sharma go in the powerplay against Sunrisers’ explosive left-handed opening duo of Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma could be the deciding factor in how the match shapes up.

Form guide

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Delhi Capitals
Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting was optimistic about opener David Warner returning from a finger injury. Ponting said Warner was “85-90%” fit on the day of their last match in Ahmedabad, but a final call on his availability for Saturday will be taken after he trains on the eve of the match against Sunrisers. If Warner returns, he could slot in directly for Sumit Kumar, as Capitals played their last match with just three overseas players. But one of Shai Hope or Jake Fraser-McGurk could also make way, if they don’t want to mess with their batting order too much.

Probable XII: 1 Prithvi Shaw, 2 David Warner, 3 Jake Fraser-McGurk/Shai Hope, 4 Abishek Porel, 5 Rishabh Pant (capt & wk), 6 Tristan Stubbs, 7 Axar Patel, 8 Sumit Kumar, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Mukesh Kumar, 12 Khaleel Ahmed.

Sunrisers Hyderabad
Sunrisers have a fully fit squad and will likely field the same side they did in their last match against Royal Challengers Bengaluru. While Travis Head has been the player subbed out when they have batted first and subbed in while chasing, they will likely start with, or bring in, Mayank Markande depending on the toss. However, if they are batting first and are facing a collapse, Rahul Tripathi is an option as well.

Probable XII: 1 Travis Head, 2 Abhishek Sharma, 3 Aiden Markram, 4 Heinrich Klaasen (wk), 5 Abdul Samad, 6 Nitish Kumar Reddy, 7 Shahbaz Ahmed, 8 Pat Cummins (capt), 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Jaydev Unadkat, 11 T Natarajan, 12 Mayank Markande.

In the spotlight – Kuldeep Yadav and Heinrich Klaasen

With Sunrisers boasting of two powerful spin-hitters in Abhishek Sharma and Heinrich Klaasen, Kuldeep Yadav with his left-arm wristspin could be key for Capitals. An injury earlier in the season meant he has only played four games so far in IPL 2024, picking up six wickets, but he has been difficult to get away. He has achieved an economy rate of 6.06, and has only gone for more than a run a ball once, against Rajasthan Royals.

With Kuldeep and Axar Patel in Capitals’ ranks, Heinrich Klaasen‘s ability to take down spin will be of great importance to Sunrisers. Among batters with more than 200 runs, only Dinesh Karthik has a better strike rate this season than Klaasen’s 199.21. He is also the most prolific six-hitter not only in this year’s IPL but in all T20s in 2024.

Pitch and conditions

It’s the first game in Delhi this season, and Ponting said the pitch looked good with more grass cover on the square than last year, and he expects it to play better than it did in 2023, when Capitals lost five of their seven home games.

Stats that matter

  • Sunrisers have the two fastest scorers in the powerplay this season in Head and Abhishek, who have struck at 207 and 206 respectively in the first six overs in IPL 2024.
  • Pat Cummins has a superb record against left-hand batters this season: five wickets at an average of 14.00, and an economy rate of just 6.56. He could come up against three Capitals’ left-handers on Saturday in David Warner, Rishabh Pant and Axar Patel.
  • Capitals have won four of their last five matches against Sunrisers. The one defeat came at the Arun Jaitley Stadium last year.


“I think our batsmen are going great. We don’t mind having a shootout tomorrow. If it’s a high-scoring game against Sunrisers, so be it. We know and expect that they’re gonna play the way that they played so far in the tournament, which has been, you know, going really hard at the top of the order with the bat and trying to post a big first-innings total. So we’re happy to try and match them in that. We think we’ve got as good a batting line-up if not a better batting line-up than theirs, so we’ll see how things work out tomorrow.”
Capitals coach Ricky Ponting isn’t fazed by Sunrisers’ hitting feats this season

Abhimanyu Bose is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo

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