Both Delhi Capitals (DC) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) will play their first match of the second phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 later on Wednesday (September 22) in Dubai. While DC are flying high closer to the top of the table, SRH, on the other hand, are at the bottom, having won just one match so far.
David Warner was sacked as SRH captain midway through the tournament and also lost his place in the XI after Kane Williamson was asked to lead. Former England batsman Mark Butcher believes that Warner will continue to stay out of the XI and with Jonny Bairstow pulling out of the tournament, it should be Jason Roy who should take his place.
“Sunrisers Hyderabad have had some glory years with that combination of Tom Moody and Warner at the top of the innings with Warner as captain. You heart thinks nostalgically about what that pairing was able to do and how they got along,” Butcher said on Cricket.com’s ‘Man vs Machine.’
“Jason Roy was looking in terrific form in the backend of England’s white-ball series over in the UK. He’s going to be very hungry. At the moment, Roy has the edge right now over someone like Warner. So, that’s the way I would go in with that one.”
SRH have beaten DC twice in Dubai in the IPL and Butcher backs the Hyderabad franchise to complete a hat-trick tonight.
The good news for DC is that Shreyas Iyer has been declared fit to return and he will be a huge asst in the middle-order. Shreyas, who led DC to the IPL 2020 final, will not lead the side as Rishabh Pant has been entrusted with the responsibility, considering he took the team to the top of the table in the first phase.
Weighing in on the captaincy debate, Butcher said, “I doubt Shreyas Iyer will be all that worried about leaving the captaincy with Rishabh Pant. Quite nice to come back in and focus on your own game. He has scored mountain of runs in T20 cricket since 2019 – over 2,000 – only Shikhar Dhawan and Marcus Stoinis have scored more. He is in good shape and I don’t think it is going to bother him one little bit that Pant keeps the captaincy.”
DC’s main bowler last season Kagiso Rabada has been off colour of late, but Butcher believes that for a class player like him, the lean patch will not last long.
“A class player will always prove you wrong in the end. For that reason, I think Ricky Ponting will stick with him for now. But he does have replacements – Someone like Umesh Yadav – possibly won’t be in the starting XI, but is a good replacement and frees up another spot for the overseas players,” Butcher, a veteran of 71 Tests, said.
“But I would imagine Rabada would keep his spot and Ricky would keep a close eye on how he might change things if Rabada doesn’t come good. But when you’re that good a player you come good eventually and you make pundits like me look very stupid at some point in the future and Rabada would do that if I drop him now,” he further added.
A win would take DC to the top of the table, but regardless of the result, SRH will continue to remain at the foot of the table. Whether or not they make it out of there by the end of the tournament is to be seen.