The Delhi Daredevils will be looking for their second win on the trot when they take to the field at the Feroz Shah Kotla against the Kings XI Punjab. Delhi have experienced mixed fortunes in the two games they have played so far this season. After failing to chase down a mere 158 in their first game against RCB, they came back with a vengeance, defeating Pune by 97 runs.
What has so far stood out for Delhi has been their bowling. With Morris proving to be one of the best foreign buys in recent times, the South African is well accompanied by Zaheer Khan, Pat Cummins, Shahbaz Nadeem and Amit Mishra.
And now if their batting (which is laden with young Indian talents) finally clicks, like their last game, this team is a serious contender for a playoff spot. But which team will take to the field tomorrow against Punjab? Let’s find out.
After two failures with the willow, it won’t be at all a surprise if Aditya Tare get a snub in this one and our pick to take his position is the talented Shreyas Iyer, who is returning from a bout of chicken pox.
The IPL Emerging Player of the Season two years ago has seen his fortunes dwindle in recent times in the competition. Much was expected from the Mumbaikar in the previous edition of the IPL after he became only the second batsman in Ranji Trophy history to score more than 1300 runs in a season. However, he failed to deliver, garnering only 30 runs in six games.
Can he finally make amends this season?
Pant set the IPL ablaze last season with his innings of 69 off 40 balls against the Gujarat Lions. And he has not looked back ever since. The left-hander, who is also now the captain of Delhi, showed his strength of character with his innings of 57 against RCB in their opener, a few days after the untimely demise of his father.
While his runs were not enough to win the game for his side, he won the hearts of millions. He followed that up with another brilliant 31 against Pune only to be run out just as he was about to get going.
With a left-right combination favoured by Delhi, look for Pant to be promoted up the order, where he can be equally effective.
Form is temporary. But class is permanent. The man from Kerala has had to deal with some indifferent form of late in domestic cricket. However, if anyone doubted his abilities, he shut them up with the first century of the IPL this season against Pune, setting up their first win of the season. Expectations will again be on the higher side when he takes to the crease against Punjab on Saturday.
The Englishman has had two good starts in his first two games, but unfortunately, he has failed to really make those count. And Delhi would hope the words, “third time is a charm” really comes true for him. His scores of 24 and 25 in the first two games indicate that he has had no problems getting off the block. Now it’s time for him to run the whole course.
The youngest Indian to hit a Test triple-hundred is yet to get going in this season’s IPL. After falling for a paltry 4 runs in the opener against RCB, he didn’t get a chance to wield his willow in the last game.
The big Kiwi didn’t get much of a chance to swing the bat, after replacing Carlos Braithwaite in the line up for their last game against Pune. Anderson was able to muster only two runs from the four deliveries he faced whilst giving away 10 from the only over he bowled. Delhi will be hoping for a much bigger impact from the all-rounder in the games to come.
Arguably Delhi’s most valuable player, Chris Morris is again shining on the big stage that is the IPL. Whilst Sanju Samson’s century might have catapulted him into the limelight, Morris’ blitzkrieg knock of 38 runs from just 9 balls was equally important in setting the huge total. The South African has been equally effective with the ball picking up four wickets in a couple of games.
Delhi’s big investment in the Australian seems to be paying off. Cummins has alternated with Morris when it comes to duties with the new ball. Three wickets to go with an economy rate of around seven is certainly praiseworthy.
Mishra played a huge part in Delhi’s demise against RCB because of his brain fade moment. However, the leg-spinner struck back with vengeance in their last game picking up three wickets in as many overs whilst giving away 11 runs.
The left arm spinner has begun this season with a head of steam. Delhi’s most economical bowler with an economy rate of 4.5 runs per over in the opening games, Nadeem has also shouldered the responsibility of handling the new ball. A vital cog in the Daredevils machinery.
The former Indian fast bowler is ageing like fine wine. The pacer may have lost a yard of pace but he makes up for that with his guile and precision. Zaheer has been exceptional in the middle overs, picking up wickets at regular intervals and stopping the batting team from building any sort of partnership and thus momentum.