An already brittle Delhi batting lineup was exposed in the face of a sustained bowling performance against Bangalore, despite a daredevil performance from Rishabh Pant. The team would require more of the same from the rest of the batsmen when it faces the Rising Pune Supergiant in their second game of this season.
Was it not for Pant, the Delhi team would have scored way less than it eventually did, and Rahul Dravid and team would have to try everything they can to bolster the batting. The lower order contributions of Carlos Brathwaite and Chris Morris were close to nil, and the former could be replaced by Corey Anderson.
This is what the lineup might look like in their fixture against Pune on Tuesday:
Having travelled with various teams throughout his IPL tenure, Tare, now settled with Delhi, got an opening role against RCB in the previous game. The wicketkeeper-batsman, who has become a mainstay in his Ranji team’s lineup, doesn’t have great IPL numbers to his name, averaging 15 across seven seasons.
If Delhi does need to shed its tendency to lose early wickets, Tare will need to stick around at the start of the innings.
The hard-hitting English batsman, one of the many keeper batsmen in the line-up, started off at a good clip against Bangalore in the last game but got out going for one shot too many. One of the faces of England’s resurgent limited overs squads, Billings is one of Delhi’s best bets at the top of the order, owing to the free-flowing nature of his game.
He might have low experience of playing in this league, but Billings, who claimed he has become a better batsman under Rahul Dravid, will need to do the quick scoring so that Delhi are off to a flier.
The Karnataka batsman’s form has been on the decline ever since scoring the record-breaking triple hundred against England late last year. He had an insipid series against Australia, also failing to fire in the first match against Bangalore.
He came into the limelight after playing some solid knocks in 2014 and 2016, and would look at his stint with the DD as another avenue to get into the Indian limited overs teams.
The talented keeper-batsman from Kerala, who came into limelight as an 18-year-old in 2013, played a number of classy knocks up the order for Rajasthan Royals, his previous IPL franchise.
Against Bangalore, he came out at the pivotal No.4 position but was dismissed after a scratchy 13.
Personal grief was pushed to the sidelines, and Rishabh Pant transformed overnight from boy to man, yet, the southpaw’s belligerent 57 wasn’t enough to take his side past the line in Bengaluru. The keeper-batsman, a sweet timer of the ball, can really take the match away from the opposition with his aggressive instinct and smart hitting. The team, however, seems to be banking too much on the young man’s shoulders.
Carlos Brathwaite looked like a fish out of the water, and took a beating with the ball, which could mean that the left-handed Corey Anderson is preferred over the West Indian. A brief world record holder for the fastest century in ODI cricket, Anderson can tonk the ball high and wide, as he did in the 2015 edition. His seam bowling is an added advantage.
The South African all-rounder was a hit for Chennai Superkings and Rajasthan Royals in the previous editions, bringing to the fore his skiddy pace bowling and big hitting. Much banks on him to provide the final flourish in the closing overs, as well as get the crucial breakthroughs with the ball.
Injuries are his biggest nemesis, but when the tall, strapping pacer is in full fitness, it is a tall task to keep up to his pace. Against RCB, he generated some good speeds, but could pick up just a solitary wicket. A few more dismissals upfront would do his confidence a world of good.
He was in the news for all the wrong reasons: some blamed him for their loss against Bangalore. Yet, the sly leg-spinner, one of the most successful in the tournament, is quite a handful with the ball. If he can get back into his elements, he can single-handedly wreak havoc in the opposition.
The lanky left-arm spinner, ever on the fringes of national selection, has been Jharkhand’s leading wicket-taker for two seasons now. In the IPL, his tight bowling is an asset of its own, one he has been showcasing with the Daredevils since 2011. Not afraid to loop the ball and entice the batsman, Nadeem can be a tricky customer in the middle overs.
He might have retired from international cricket, but there is no stopping Zak’s zest to perform with the ball. The run-up might have reduced, the jump decreased and the pace halved, but Khan’s astute captaincy and sharp mind still helps him find a place in the Delhi team. He might have to do more with the ball, if he intends to keep his place in the side for long.