IPL 2013 Preview: Dreary Delhi Daredevils run into inconsistent Mumbai Indians

Delhi Daredevils are still in search of their first win in the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League © IANS

By Prakash Govindasreenivasan

Delhi: Apr 20, 2013

Mahela Jayawardene’s Delhi Daredevils are still looking for their first points in the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) when they host the Mumbai Indians on Sunday.

Mumbai have had an inconsistent run in the tournament so far, winning three out of five games. On their day they are capable of running over any of the other eight teams while on their off day, they might get beaten by any of those teams. In their game against the Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai were struck by the dreaded Murphy law. Nothing went as per plans for Mumbai and they were handed one of their most embarrassing defeats by 87-runs; it surely must have dented their confidence. A game against the subjugated Delhi Daredevils could just be ideal for them to find their feet again.

As for the Delhi side, they just need to try harder as a unit. They’ve had a few individual blitzes but have failed to register a victory. This format of the game can be extremely cruel at times and Delhi needs to shrug off its previous losses and start afresh each time. A win against Mumbai will not just give them their first points but also the confidence of beating a strong side.

To be able to do that, Jayawardene needs to ensure that there are no loose ends when his side hits the field on Sunday. There is very little of ‘home advantage’ in this format of the game but the Delhi Daredevils will need ample support and backing from the home crowd if they are to derive a favourable result from this fixture. Skipper Jayawardene, David Warner and Virender Sehwag will need to up the ante and lead their side from the front. Morne Morkel — the purple cap holder of the previous editon of the IPL — has returned but the bowling unit hasn’t quite worked well as a unit. Umesh Yadav has been excellent in patches, as has Irfan Pathan. But they need to do well as a group to push their team towards the first win.

The England football team has suffered an incorrigible problem in the recent past. Two of the greatest midfielders in the country — Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard — have failed to do well while playing on the same line-up. While Lampard has been Chelsea’s midfield maestro, Steven Gerrard has been the most vital cog in the Liverpool setup. Yet, for England, the duo failed to create a similar impact. Mumbai Indians are going through something similar with Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting. While the duo has insurmountable records for their respective countries, they have failed to do well together for Mumbai Indians. They have played five matches together and really need to give their side a good start for the middle-order to consolidate. Dinesh Karthik, Rohit Sharma an Ambati Rayudu form an exciting middle-order and the onus will be on them, if Pondulkar fails once again.

Mitchell Johnson has been a revelation in this year’s IPL and he will combine well with Lasith Malinga to form a potent attack. On a Delhi wicket, they two can wreck havoc on some of the best line-ups in the world. In Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha, Mumbai Indians have two experienced spinners to dry up the runs in the middle overs.

At the moment, Mumbai Indians are better placed to bag two points against Delhi Daredevils and move into the top four but Delhi’s urge to win their first game could see them work harder and give Mumbai Indians a run for their money. Track record aside, this match could turn out to be the most exciting of the season so far.

Teams:

Mumbai Indians (Probable): Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Johnson, Pragyan Ojha, Lasith Malinga, Munaf Patel.

Delhi Daredevils (Probable): David Warner, Virender Sehwag, Manpreet Juneja, Mahela Jayawardene (c), Jeevan Mendis, Kedar Jadhav (wk), Irfan Pathan, Ajit Agarkar, Morne Morkel, Shahbaz Nadeem, Umesh Yadav

Time: 16.00 IST | 10.30 GMT

(Prakash Govindasreenivasan is an Editorial consultant at CricketCountry and a sports fanatic, with a soft corner for cricket. After studying journalism for two years, came the first big high in his professional life – the opportunity to interview his hero Adam Gilchrist and talking about his magnificent 149 in the 2007 World Cup final. While not following cricket, he is busy rooting for Chelsea FC)