Delhi Daredevils will look to continue their good run of form in this match against Gujarat Lions © AFP
Delhi Daredevils will look to continue their good run of form in this match against Gujarat Lions © AFP

After a disappointing loss in the first game of the tournament, Delhi Daredevils (DD) have made successful comeback in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016, winning their remaining four fixtures out of five. They have their task cut out against Gujarat Lions (GL), who currently top the table. DD recently suffered a one-run defeat against GL and will look to avenge their defeat with this match. DD are fresh from their comprehensive win against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and will not want to mess with their playing XI much. Although there have been a couple of under-performing players in the side, DD will want to back them and give them another go. Let’s have a look at DD’s likely XI for their clash against GL: Full Cricket Scorecard: Gujarat Lions vs Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2016, Match 31 at Rajkot

Top-Order: Quinton de Kock has not fired in the last couple of matches, but will be entrusted to score big in this match. He already has garnered 199 runs in six matches so far. De Kock will be key, if DD are to get off to a successful start. His opening partner Shreyas Iyer was dropped for the earlier game against GL, coming back in the next game against KKR, where he was dismissed for a first-ball duck. Shreyas has managed just 22 from his five innings so far and DD will expect more from him this time around. Rishabh Pant could be the new opening pair along with de Kock, if Shreyas is dropped, but DD will back Shreyas to come good in this game. Sanju Samson has been in terrific form this season and he will retain his No. 3 spot. READ: IPL 2016: It’s happy dressing room, says Carlos Brathwaite

Middle-order: After losing a couple of early wickets, the middle-order stepped up to the plate and took DD to a competitive total against KKR in the previous match. Karun Nair along with Sam Billings on his debut, scored vital fifties to lift their side.  Billings’ fifty may keep JP Duminy out for yet another match. Carlos Brathwaite finally showed his batting prowess and scored a 11-ball 34. DD also have Chris Morris to follow, who proved out to be quite a handful with the bat when these two sides met last. READ: IPL 2016: Billings wants DD keep winning momentum going against GL

Pawan Negi missed out against GL earlier, but should be back for this match in place of Pant, who has had very little to do in the last two matches. Negi along with being an explosive hitter, can be a handy bowler as well. READ: IPL 2016: Rahul Dravid brings different dimension to Delhi Daredevils, says JP Duminy

Bowlers: Zaheer Khan has led this bowling unit incredibly well and with Mohammed Shami coming back into the side, it only boosts DD’s bowling unit. Amit Mishra, Morris and Brathwaite will also be crucial for DD with the ball. Brathwaite picked three wickets in the previous match, but proved to be expensive. He will have to ensure that he gives away less runs this time around, but it will not be easy with Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith and Suresh Raina in full flow. DD will also have the slow-left arm spin of Pawan Negi at their disposal.

Delhi Daredevils Likely XI (Batting Order):  Quinton de Kock (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Karun Nair, Sam Billings, Carlos Brathwaite, Pawan Negi, Chris Morris, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami, Zaheer Khan (c).

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry. He has represented Karnataka table tennis under-15, and is a hardcore supporter of Liverpool FC. His Twitter handle is @pramz)