Also on cricketcountry.com
May 18, 2014
By Bharath Ramaraj
Delhi Daredevils (DD), rooted at the bottom of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 table, will take on the current table toppers, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at Delhi on Monday. Punjab have been in great form in IPL 7, and are also set to qualify for the playoffs. In fact, in their last game against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), Punjab won with six wickets in hand, and they were able to chase down a monstrous score of 206 runs on the board.
The likes of Glenn Maxwell, David Miller and even skipper, George Bailey, have been amongst the runs. Maxwell has already made over 500 runs in IPL 2014. The left-handed Mille, and skipper Bailey have chipped in with runs when required. On the bowling front, Akshar Patel, Mitchell Johnson, Sandeep Sharma, Lakshmipathy Balaji and Rishi Dhawan have been among the wickets. Sandeep has swung the ball late, and in any format of the game getting the new ball to swing late is an asset to the side.
On the other side of the spectrum, Dehli have floundered in most of the games. They have won only two out of the 11 matches that they have played till now. They lost their last game at Ahmedabad to Rajasthan Royals by a huge margin of 62 runs. South African JP Duminy has been the one batsman who has done well for DD. He has amassed 340 runs at 56.66 for Delhi. Kedar Jadhav and Manoj Tiwary have scored runs in fits and starts, But the biggest disappointment has been the bad form of Kevin Pietersen their star player. In the game against Rajasthan, Delhi’s captain, Pietersen, looked completely out of sorts and seemed to be taking his eyes off the ball. Pietersen is a far better batsman than just going down the route of blindly slogging across the line.
Among the bowlers, barring the slow left-arm orthodox spinner Shabhaz Nadeem, others have struggled to take wickets. Even Nadeem is known more for containing the run flow rather than as a wicket-taker. The track at Delhi again should favour the batsmen, and the dew factor may come into play. It has made captains think twice about winning the toss and electing to bat. One hopes that Delhi can lift their sagging spirits and play well against Punjab. No one wants to see a one-sided contest. As far as Punjab are concerned, it is all about maintaining their winning momentum by beating Delhi at their own patch.
Delhi Daredevils: Kevin Pietersen (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), JP Duminy, Ross Taylor, Mayank Agarwal, Murali Vijay, Manoj Tiwary, SaurabhTiwary, Milind Kumar, Jimmy Neesham, Mohammed Shami, Jaydev Unadkat, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jayant Yadav, Rahul Shukla, Wayne Parnell, HS Sharath, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Kedar Jadhav, Siddharth Kaul, Rahul Sharma, Quinton de Kock.
Kings XI Punjab (KXIP): George Bailey (c), David Miller, Manan Vohra, Mitchell Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Virender Sehwag, Rishi Dhawan, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Shaun Marsh, Cheteshwar Pujara, Beuran Hendricks, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Thisara Perera, Gurkeerat Mann Singh, Murali Kartik, Sandeep Sharma, Mandeep Singh, Akshar Patel, Parvinder Awana, Shardul Thakur, Anureet Singh, Shivam Sharma, Karanveer Singh.
20.00 IST | 2.30 GMT
(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)
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