After a disastrous start to its campaign with two successive defeats, bottom-placed Sunrisers Hyderabad will be eager to bounce back against an inconsistent Delhi Daredevils, which is likely to be boosted by the return by Kevin Pietersen.

In its inaugural season, Hyderabad had reached the play-offs but its campaign this year started on a disappointing note as it first lost to Rajasthan Royals by four wickets and then was blown away by Glenn Maxwell against Kings XI Punjab.

Delhi, on the other hand, blew hot and cold as it began with an eight-wicket loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore, bounced back against Kolkata Knight Riders and an abject batting failure saw it suffer an embarrassing 93-run loss to Chennai.

Its campaign seemed to be affected by the absence of Kevin Pietersen, who has so far missed all the three matches, owing to an injury on his little finger, which he suffered during fielding drills with Surrey at the Oval last month.

The former England skipper is hopeful of leading the Delhi outfit when it takes on Hyderabad and it is going to give a big boost to its batting as well.

Hyderabad too has been battling batting woes. While in its opening game, the Shikhar Dhawan-led side failed to put up enough runs on the board against Rajasthan, in the second match it simply capitulated against Kings XI Punjab.

Skipper Dhawan too has spoken about its batting failure and fielding woes after the game against Punjab and he will have to address these issues if the team has to turn it around this time.

On paper, Hyderabad has some explosive batsmen in Aaron Finch and David Warner but both have done little to live up to their names, while Dhawan, himself, could only contribute 38 and one so far.

The middle-order too has failed with the likes of Lokesh Rahul and Venugopala Rao struggling to keep the scoreboard ticking. The bowlers did well against Rajasthan when they took the game to the wire but could not withstand the Maxwell onslaught on Tuesday. Also the fielding was not up to the mark against Punjab.

The pace duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Dale Steyn has been pretty consistent so far with the former blooming under the South African’s guidance as he went on to pick four wickets in two matches.

Amit Mishra has snapped two wickets in each match, though he was at the receiving end of Maxwell in the last game and a lot would depend on the leg-spinner on Friday.

For Delhi, Mohammad Shami has been the pace spearhead, while Jaydev Unadkat, too, has done well to take four wickets in the two games he played so far.

But the absence of Australian quick Nathan Coulter-Nile, who suffered a hamstring injury when diving to field during the game against Chennai, would be felt.


Sunrisers get off the markApril 25, 2014