Delhi Daredevils are perennial under-achievers of the IPL. Seven games into the season and they find themselves glued to the bottom of the table, although they have played a game lesser than all the other teams. Today, they face Kings XI Punjab at Mohali in what seems to be a do-or-die contest for Delhi.
Led by veteran pacer Zaheer Khan, Daredevils have lost 4 games on the trot and will be hopeful of turning things around against fellow strugglers KXIP. The wicket at Mohali, a couple of nights back, gave an impression that it’s meant to be batsmen’s paradise.
Going into the game, Delhi have lots to ponder about their batsmen who are yet to deliver consistently as a unit. However, DD’s bowling has been on the better side and if the pace trio of Rabada-Cummins-Morris step-up, then can put any batting line-up on the back foot.
Here is Delhi’s probable XI for today’s game:
Sanju Samson: He has been the pick of Delhi’s batsmen this season.Having already slammed a ton, Samson looks like the quintessential opener for DD. His stylish strokeplay combined with his nonchalant cricketing brain makes him very dangerous in the powerplay overs.
The Kerala batsman has amassed 284 runs this season, including four scores of 30+. In the last game against KKR, Samson started firing right from the word go and brought up 100 runs for his team in no time. However, he struggled to find boundaries once the ball started getting older and departed after scoring 60 off only 38 balls.
Rishab Pant: Anyone who follows domestic games closely knows how devastating Rishab Pant can be once he settles in. However, the southpaw who made his debut a couple of months back is yet to find his form and has been dismissed for cheap numbers in his previous three innings.
Today, finally, the left-hander could open the innings for the Daredevils and showcase his daredevilry.
Shreyas Iyer: The right-hander has been in impeccable form this season. After two highly successful Ranji Trophy seasons, Iyer has continued the same form in the IPL as well. This season, Iyer has scored 151 runs in 5 matches. Against KKR, Iyer’s partnership with Samson was crucial for DD to set a formidable target.
Karun Nair: Karun Nair is highly talented and one of the few players who can perform in all formats of the game. Well, the right-hander has been extremely disappointing this season and in addition to this, his strike rate has been poor as well.
In the 7 matches he has played, he has just scored 78 runs and will be hopeful about turning things around in Mohali.
Corey Anderson: In DD colours, Anderson has not been able to repeat the performances he gave for MI. In IPL 10, he has featured only in four matches and has gone on to make 42 runs. With the ball, the New Zealander has been ineffective for most parts. Delhi will be relying on Anderson to play a bigger role in finishing off the innings.
Chris Morris: Started off as a bowler, but Morris is now close to being a fine all-rounder. Sometimes with the ball and sometimes with the bat, he is by far the best player in DD’s squad this season. In the business end of the tournament, Morris will have to forget the game against KKR and spring in with performances like we have seen from earlier this season.
Ankit Bawne: The right-handed Maharashtra batsman found it difficult to score in the final few overs of the match and ended up with just 12 runs off as many deliveries. But with Dravid relying heavily on young guns, Bawne will quickly have to make the most of the opportunities handed to him.
Pat Cummins: Although Cummins is predominantly known for his fiery pace, the youngster also boasts a bag of tricks. Cummins has been one of the most economical bowlers for Delhi Daredevils. With subtle variations, Cummins has kept most of the batsman quiet.
The Australian will now have to repeat the same against the team led by his fellow countryman Glenn Maxwell.
Shahbaz Nadeem: This could be the only change for DD from their last game against KKR. Veteran spinner Mishra has seven wickets in as many games but he has found it difficult to keep the batsmen quiet. Shahbaz Nadeem, on the other hand, ended up as the highest wicket-taker in Ranji Trophy this season with 56 wickets and could replace Mishra for the match.
Zaheer Khan: Along with the added responsibility of captaincy, Khan has failed to deliver for DD under crunch situations this season. In 7 matches, he has as many wickets but boasts a poor economy.
Kagiso Rabada: This has been a breakthrough year for the lanky South African pacer. After impressing for the national side, Rabada extended the same form to the IPL. Surprisingly, he even played a good knock against MI in his first match.