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By Nishad Pai Vaidya
May 2, 2014
Delhi Daredevils (DD) and the Rajasthan Royals (RR) commence their India-leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 with a clash at the Ferozshah Kotla in New Delhi. Last year when the two teams faced off at Delhi, Rajasthan were victorious by the most slender of margins. And later, Rajasthan continued to find form as they beat the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the play-offs. This time, they have different sides and come into this game with a little different fortunes. Rajasthan have won three out of their five games in the UAE-leg, whereas Delhi have won two.
The Kotla is a small ground with short boundaries that tempt the batsmen to go over the top. And, it is a ground where sixes may be regular, unless the wicket is bad. So, if you win the toss, more often than not, you would want to bat first.
Delhi have a strong batting line-up that needs to click for this IPL. Kevin Pietersen’s return makes it a very strong line-up and there is the opening combination in Murali Vijay and Quinton de Kock. Perhaps Dinesh Karthik can come a bit later to allow Pietersen in at No 3. Plus, they have some good domestic players in Kedar Jadhav and Manoj Tiwary. JP Duminy is the mainstay in the middle, which would leave Ross Taylor out of the squad.
The bowling is led by Mohammed Shami and he has Jaydev Unadkat for company. Wayne Parnell is also a crucial component of this bowling attack. Then, they would also bank on Shahbaz Nadeem to spin the ball on a track he is used to.
Rajasthan have a settled unit and they wouldn’t make changes. Ajinkya Rahane opens the batting, but there may be a few concerns over his partner. So far, Rajasthan tried Abhishek Nayar and Karun Nair, both didn’t work so far. Shane Watson could perhaps promote himself with Sanju Samson coming in at No 3. In the middle, they are led by aggressive batsmen in Stuart Binny and Steven Smith.
The bowling is led by James Faulkner, who has an able partner in Kane Richardson. Pravin Tambe remains their main spin bowler and he would be the key man for them.
Rajasthan have started looking strong in the IPL 2014, and Delhi are eyeing a performance to turn the tide in their favour.
Delhi Daredevils: Kevin Pietersen (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), JP Duminy, Ross Taylor, Mayank Agarwal, Murali Vijay, Manoj Tiwary, Saurabh Tiwary, Milind Kumar, Jimmy Neesham, Mohammed Shami, Jaydev Unadkat, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jayant Yadav, Rahul Shukla, Wayne Parnell, HS Sharath, Laxi Ratan Shukla, Kedar Jadhav, Siddharth Kaul, Rahul Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Rajasthan Royals: Shane Watson (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Brad Hodge, Sanju Samson, Stuart Binny, Ankush Bains, James Faulkner, Pravin Tambe, Kevon Cooper, Unmukt Chand, Steven Smith, Ben Cutting, Deepak Hooda, Iqbal Abdullah, Karun Nair, Vikramjeet Malik, Abhishek Nayar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Kane Richardson, Dishant Yagnik (wk), Tim Southee, Rahul Tewatia, Ankit Sharma, Amit Mishra.
Time: 20:00 IST | 14:30 GMT
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