Virender Sehwag and Chris Gayle might both have skipped training on Thursday ahead of Friday’s match between Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Ferozeshah Kotla, but no one should read too much into it.
The Daredevils might be playing for pride going into their last four matches in the Pepsi Indian Premier League — they have no chance of qualifying for the knockout stages after a disastrous season — but they can still play party poopers.
A win against Bangalore will put the visitors in troubled waters as the race for qualification is at its tightest and RCB must win all their remaining matches to comfortably reach the play-offs.
For Delhi though, it will be about winning their last game at home, before they travel to Chennai, Dharamsala and Pune. While most teams have been invincible at home, Delhi have so far managed to win just one game at the Kotla in five tries — against Mumbai Indians.
Nothing has clicked for the Daredevils this season. While the batsmen have failed miserably — David Warner with 360 runs in 12 matches is the top scorer — the bowlers haven’t done much better. Umesh Yadav is the pick of the bowlers with 13 wickets from 12 outings.
For Bangalore, though, it has been all about failing to do much away from the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.
While they are tigers at home, their away record has been wobbly. And with just four games to go, they will look to get just their second win in six away games.
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The wicket at Kotla could once again be typically low and slow and it will be interesting to see if Gayle puts on the defensive cap to start off with — something synonymous with him this season.