While fans eagerly wait for their daily dose of cricket while the Indian T20 League is on, they will be treated with a double dose in the UAE leg of the competitions’ first double-header on Saturday. In match number 36 it will be Delhi up against Rajasthan while match 37 will see Hyderabad face Punjab. Both Delhi and Rajasthan have won both their respective first matches after the season resumption. Although Delhi was the more dominant team in their performance, Rajasthan somehow stole the win from the grasp of Punjab.
On the other hand, both Hyderabad and Punjab had a losing restart to their campaign and occupy the last two places at the points table. Punjab have two more points than Hyderabad, having played a match more and hence edge out Hyderabad to the seventh position.
Here is trying to choose the teams of the day based on the following factors:
1. Head-to-head record
The overall head-to-head record for Delhi-Rajasthan fixture suggests that it has been a pretty neck and neck contest. The teams have faced each other 23 times, with Delhi winning 11 of them while Rajasthan managing wins in the remaining 12. Meanwhile, in the Hyderabad-Punjab rivalry, it is Hyderabad who have won 12 out of the 17 matches with Punjab managing 5 wins. While the overall record suggests Rajasthan and Hyderabad, the recent form of the team suggests otherwise.
2. UAE factor
The UAE factor should also be taken into consideration and it is often a better indicator since the UAE matches have happened in the recent past and the fixture is slated in similar conditions. As per this, Delhi and Rajasthan have come against each other twice in the Middle East country and on both occasions, it was the Delhi side who were the runners-up last season. Talking about match number 37, Hyderabad and Punjab have played 3 matches in UAE with Punjab winning two matches in contrast to Hyderabad’s 1. The balance shifts towards Delhi and Punjab here.
3. Form of the player
The last factor is the form of players. When comparing Delhi and Rajasthan, Delhi are filled with in-form match-winners be it Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Axar Patel or Shikhar Dhawan Prithvi Shaw and Shreyas Iyer. These are the names of players who had performed in just their last match, not to forget Prithvi Shaw who is quite capable on his day himself. Rajasthan, meanwhile, struggled to reach the kind of total they were looking to get after a great start and were dead and buried while defending 180 plus but managed to strike a win. Kartik Tyagi was the real hero in the final over but even he had gone for runs prior to the final over. Mahipal Lomror and Yashasvi Jaiswal were the top performers for the team with the bat.
For Hyderabad and Punjab, Punjab definitely had the better individual performances coming their way. Arshdeep Singh scalped a fifer, Mayank Agarwal scored a fantastic half-century and even Harpreet Brar looked effective. In contrast, Hyderabad’s captain Kane Williamson played a very scratchy innings and it was only Abdul Samad and Rashid Khan’s contributions that helped them to 134. No bowler picked a wicket for them either other than Rashid and Khaleel Ahmed who picked a wicket apiece.
Considering the above mentioned factors, the teams of the day are Delhi and Punjab.