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By Amit Kumar Das
New Delhi: May 2, 2014
After a topsy-turvy run in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014, Delhi Daredevils would look to kick-off their India-leg on a positive note when they clash with a resurgent Rajasthan Royals at the Ferozshah Kotla stadium in New Delhi on May 3. Out of five matches, Delhi won just two against Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians, while Rajasthan have three victories to show after which they are lying at the third place in the IPL 7 Points Table.
Both the teams, however, will take a lot of confidence from their respective victories in their last match of the UAE-leg. While Delhi notched up a six-wicket win over Mumbai Indians last Sunday, Rajasthan showed nerves of steel to edge out Kolkata Knight Riders via the Super Over and the two teams will look to outwit each other on Saturday.
For Delhi, JP Duminy and Murali Vijay have been among the runs, while wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik too has a half-century to show. But a lot will be expected from the rest of the batsmen such as opener Quinton de Kock, Ross Taylor and captain Kevin Pietersen. For the bowlers, pacer Jaydev Unadkat and spinner Shahbaz Nadeem have taken six and four wickets respectively so far, but the Daredevils will need other bowlers to fire as well.
Captain Pietersen will want their pacers Mohammed Shami and Wayne Parnell to step up their performance, but Delhi also needs someone to support Nadeem at the spin department, considering the fact that Duminy has not been successful with his off-breaks.
Rajasthan, on the other hand, are on a roll with back-to-back victories and they would look to keep their momentum going on May 3. Shane Watson‘s side have been a cohesive unit and they have always contributed as a team. Ajinkya Rahane has been rock solid at the top, but he needs a good opening partner to give Rajasthan a good start.
The Royals have experimented with Abhishek Nayar and Karun Nair, but both the batsmen have been a failure. Sanju Samson and Watson have provided support in the middle-order, but they need to be more consistent. The bowlers have done well with veteran spinner Pravin Tambe and seamer Kane Richardson been among wickets.
Senior all-rounder Rajat Bhatia too has stuck to his role of containing the rival batsmen in the middle-overs, while James Faulkner also shone with three wickets in a single over against Kolkata in their last match.
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