By Suneer Chowdhary
New Delhi: Apr 19, 2011
Both sides are at the bottom of the points table and for that predicament, they can hardly blame anyone else but themselves. Delhi Daredevils have won one of their three games, Deccan Chargers have been victorious in one of their four and a loss here will set that team back gravely.
Delhi lost to Mumbai after being bowled out for 95 and then saw Rajasthan Royals chase down their 141 in the next game. The Chargers went down to the Rajasthan Royals in their opening encounter, lost by nine runs against Kolkata Knight Riders before being blown away by Paul Valthaty in the previous one.
The good news from Delhi’s perspective is that they finally won a game after two stunningly one-sided losses. And it was a hard-fought victory, which could just be the flavour of the season for the Daredevils if they need to go the distance this season given the tactical gaffes made in the auction. They are clearly missing a frontline spinner and the results are showing on the opposition scores.
Delhi would be thankful to the way Dave Warner batted in their win over Pune. In the earlier game against the Royals, he had to graft his way while Venugopal Rao was the aggressor; here, he was left with no option but to bring out his A-game. Alfonso Thomas egged him on for more and obliged. Rao was crucial again at the end of the innings helped in their own ways by Aaron Finch and James Hopes.
The Chargers, on the other hand, have looked reasonably deflated and too early in the tournament. Kumar Sangakkara may have his mind on other and more pressing matters but he needs to quickly get his own poor captaincy record in IPL out of the mire. In the 18 games he has captained in IPL, he has won only five games; only one out of the four times for Deccan Chargers.
Pragyan Ojha had been given the break after two poor performances; which allowed Manpreet Gony to dole out a three-wicket match-winning haul in one of those games and a performance that seemed to have gone pear-shaped in the second one. Against Delhi, and more importantly at the Kotla, Ojha could be the weapon that Deccan Chargers need. So will Amit Mishra, who will play against his former team and will have a point or two to prove after being dropped.
Where the Chargers need a step-up is in their batting. There was a marked improvement in the way both Shikhar Dhawan and Sangakkara batted in their previous match but they are clearly lacking in that someone to bat through the innings at a reasonable rate. JP Duminy’s travails with the bat could see him being replaced by Cameron White, who himself hasn’t had the best of times at the crease while playing for his national side recently.
DC (Probable): Shikhar Dhawan, Sunny Sohal, Kumar Sangakkara (c&wk), Bharat Chipli, Cameron White, Dan Christian, DB Ravi Teja, Dale Steyn, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha.
DD (Probable): Virender Sehwag (c), Dave Warner, Umukt Chand, Naman Ojha(wk), Venugopal Rao, Aaron Finch, Irfan Pathan, James Hopes, Nadeem, Morne Morkel, Ashok Dinda.
Time: 20.00 local (1430 hours GMT)
(Suneer is a Mumbai-based cricket writer and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and Tweets here: @suneerchowdhary)
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