Shane Watson's Royal Challengers Bangalore will be hoping for their first win in IPL 10 vs Delhi Daredevils on Saturday    AFP
Shane Watson’s Royal Challengers Bangalore will be hoping for their first win in IPL 10 vs Delhi Daredevils on Saturday AFP

Delhi Daredevils (DD) played their last game of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), and will again commence their new season versus the same opponents. Nonetheless, they will like to alter the script, having lost the last battle against RCB and eye a winning start to the tenth edition. On the other hand, RCB are not only without their key players (so is the case with DD), but also lost the tournament opener to Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Wednesday. For that matter, RCB will be eager to get their campaign on track whereas visitors will be itching to get two points under their belt at Bangaluru. Full Cricket Scorecard, Delhi Daredevils vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Match 5

Team composition

Former players voiced their opinions on DD’s buys after IPL 2017 auction. Sourav Ganguly was not much impressed, whereas Ravi Shashtri and KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir appreciated the balance in DD’s line-up. Nonetheless, what followed was totally disheartening for DD fans. Key players such as JP Duminy and Quinton de Kock were ruled out from the tournament. Meanwhile, Shreyas Iyer will get back to the team after recovering from chicken pox. To make matters worse, Rishabh Pant lost his father a day before DD’s inaugural clash but has joined back the team after performing the rites.

Thing look bleak for DD even when they are yet to take on the field. But as they say, the show must go on and they will like to fight all the odds and spring up a fight on Saturday.

Sam Billings will open the innings along with Pant. In case Pant is dropped, Sanju Samson will fill up his place. Karun Nair, the second triple-centurion for India in whites, will come at No. 3. Iyer’s loss has led to Ankit Bawne’s gain. Bawne, a trusted name in domestic circuit, should be given a chance in the line-up at 4. To know more about the 24-year-old, do read my colleague, Chinmay Jawalekar‘s article here.

To be fair, DD’s top order isn’t that threatening. However, it is filled with some promising names who have made giant strides in India’s domestic circuit. Chris Morris and Pat Cummins will come handy at No. 5 and 6 respectively. The duo can play according to match situation and add quick runs to the scoreboard. The former is more than a valuable hitter and capable of shifting momentum towards his side in a flash.

After Morris, DD will bank upon their strength which lies in bowling. Amit Mishra and Mohammad Shami can use the long handle to decent effect before turning up the heat with the ball. Shahbaz Nadeem is a proven customer in his primary job, that is, bowling. He will come out to bat at No. 9, following Mishra and Shami at 7 and 8. South Africa’s pace sensation Kagiso Rabada and skipper Zaheer Khan will be the last pair to slog it around with the willow.

Surely, DD’s batting line-up has been marred with injuries. As a result, it does not instill much confidence on paper. However, they can more than make up for it with a string of reputed bowlers who can rattle any side on their given day. Mishra’s spin will be handy in curbing the run flow, and we all know how essential a leg spinner can be in T20Is. Accompanying him in the spin arsenal will be Nadeem with his finger-spin.

In the pace battery, Cummins (coming on the back of a successful India series), Rabada (lethal with the new ball), Shami (India’s most improved bowler recently), Morris’ seam and veteran pacer Zaheer can trouble any big name in the shortest format.

DD likely XI: Sam Billings, Rishabh Pant/Sanju Samson (wk), Karun Nair, Ankit Bawne, Chris Morris, Pat Cummins, Amit Mishra, Mohammad Shami, Kagiso Rabada, Zaheer Khan (c), Shahbaz Nadeem

Moving onto RCB…

After a defeat in the tournament opener, RCB will like to get their campaign back on track with a win at M Chinnaswammy. With regular skipper Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers missing out due to injuries, the onus will again be on the likes of Shane Watson, Chris Gayle and Kedar Jadhav to bail their side.

Gayle and Mandeep Singh did well against SRH to provide a good platform. The duo will be expected to take up the opening slot and perform better. Travis Head and Kedar Jadhav looked like taking the game away from SRH on Wednesday, before an excellent throw from Ben Cutting damaged RCB’s run chase. Head and Jadhav will continue to bat at No. 3 and 4 respectively to provide solidity. They can shift gears in no time and can keep RCB in good stead, especially during the middle overs.

Watson, the stand-in captain, will come in at 5. He will have a job in hand with not much batting to follow. Stuart Binny came in at 7 in the opening tie and should be promoted to 6 with his ability to clear the ropes in the death overs. Pawan Negi may get a look in at 7 to add more depth to their batting.

The lower order will comprise of Tymal Mills, Sreenath Aravind, Yuzvendra Chahal and Iqbal Abdulla. RCB may change their strategy and opt for three spinners with Watson, Aravind, Mills and Binny filling in as seamers. Aniket Choudhary and Sachin Baby weren’t effective in the first game and hence may face the axe. DD’s lack of batting depth may prompt RCB’s team management to try out three spinners and add one more batsman in their line-up.

RCB have top foreign players waiting in the wings, such as Adam Milne, Tabraiz Shamsi and Samuel Badree. It is disheartening to see Badree sit out, but the four foreign players who featured in the first match may get another run owing to their heavy price tag.

RCB likely XI: Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Travis Head, Kedar Jadhav (wk), Shane Watson (c), Stuart Binny, Pawan Negi, Yuzvendra Chahal, Tymal Mills, Sreenath Aravind, Iqbal Abdulla

Predictions: Both sides are marred with injuries. It will be interesting to see what changes are made in RCB camp following the drubbing against defending champions SRH. It is tough to predict the winner. However, home advantage and Kohli-de Villiers’ absence, along with lacklustre bowling and unimpressive fielding, may put RCB on the back foot.

For records, RCB have got the better of DD in 10 out of 16 games something for the home camp to cheer about.

Squads:

Delhi Daredevils: Zaheer Khan (c), Aditya Tare, Amit Mishra, Angelo Mathews, Ankit Bawne, Carlos Brathwaite, Chama Milind, Chris Morris, Corey Anderson, Jayant Yadav, Kagiso Rabada, Karun Nair, Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami, Murugan Ashwin, Navdeep Saini, Pat Cummins, Pratyush Singh, Rishabh Pant, Sam Billings, Sanju Samson, Shahbaz Nadeem, Shashank Singh, Shreyas Iyer

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Shane Watson, Virat Kohli, Kedar Jadhav, Stuart Binny, Iqbal Abdullah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Sreenath Aravind, Tymal Mills, Avesh Khan, Samuel Badree, Praveen Dubey, Travid Head, Mandeep Singh, Adam Milne, Pawan Negi, Harshal Patel, Sachin Baby, Tabraiz Shamsi, Billy Stanlake.

Time: 20:00 IST | 14:30 GMT