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DC vs SRH: Why Delhi should play Sandeep Lamichhane

Delhi Capitals have had a disastrous run late in the season after starting off as one of the teams of the tournament. They have lost five of their last six matches and head into the second qualifiers against an in-form Sunrisers Hyderabad side that has beaten Royal Challengers Bangalore (twice), Mumbai Indians and Delhi themselves in the last few games.

Stopping Hyderabad will require Delhi to be ahead of them in two areas:

  • Handling Rashid Khan
  • Stopping Warner, Saha (if he plays), Manish Pandey and Kane Williamson – primarily, Warner and Williamson who form the backbone of this batting line-up.

While batting has been an issue for Delhi through the competition, it is their bowling that has won them games. Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje have, however, fizzled out in the last few games perhaps due to the length of the tournament and the conditions taking a toll on faster bowlers.

To put it straight, Sunrisers are downright favorites to win the contest and if Delhi are to overcome them, they need an x-factor in their bowling. 

They will have to hope the batting stands up with Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer making runs in the tournament. There’s little they can do to strengthen the batting core, except adding Shimron Hetmyer who if not batting in the top three may not really be useful.

It is here that Delhi needs to take a bold call and bring in the Nepal spinner, Sandeep Lamichhane. While the leg-spinner hasn’t played through the tournament, he isn’t rusty per se and comes off the back of a decent showing in the Caribbean Premier League.

Sunrisers’ top-order including David Warner hasn’t had the greatest of times against leg-spin in this season. While Wriddhiman Saha has a scoring rate less than 100 vs leg-spin, a massive cut down from his high strike-rate in the season, Warner has fallen five times to leg-spinners (all to googlies too in fact, a delivery that Lamichhane specialises in). 

 

 

Kane Williamson has fallen seven times to leg-spinners in his IPL career and strikes at just 113.1 against them. Manish Pandey, on the other hand, has 17 dismissals to leg-spinners in his IPL career. 

 

With each of the top four having a clear weakness against the bowling type and Lamichhane himself possessing a mystery factor, it’s worth giving the leggie a go in this key fixture, especially with the bowling appearing toothless in the last few games.

Rohit Sankar is a freelance cricket journalist stuck in a love-hate live-in relationship with the game. To rile him up, mention the 1999 World Cup semi-final. Rohit has been writing about cricket for well over 10 years now, and has written for a variety of news and sports outlets over this time.

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