New Delhi: Delhi DareDevils (DD) face an uphill task of stopping a rampaging Chennai Super Kings (CSK) as the two sides gear up to lock horns in an IPL VII match at the Kotla, here on Monday.
The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK is on song, with five victories on the trot. DD, on the other hand, have lost four of their six outings so far.
Even the return to home turf failed to change DD’s fortunes as they lost by five wickets to Rajasthan Royals on Saturday night.
DD have failed to click as a unit and that is a major reason for their misery in the Twenty20 League. In complete contrast, CSK have been outstanding in all aspects of the game.
For Delhi, South Africans JP Duminy and Wayne Parnell and India pacer Mohammed Shami have been the saving grace.
Placed just above Mumbai Indians in the eight-team competition, DD need a miracle of sorts to move up the ladder and be in the reckoning for the knockout stage. Defending champions Mumbai Indians, too, are having a harrowing time and are placed at the lowest rung of the ladder.
Meanwhile, Daredevils have decided to temporarily trim their squad of 23 players to 20 with three of the domestic uncapped players, including local boy Milind Kumar, being sent home as there is no immediate requirement of their services. Apart from Milind, the other two players who have returned home are Haryana off-spinner Jayant Yadav and young Karnataka medium pacer HS Sharath.
The DareDevils now need the likes of Ross Taylor, Dinesh Karthik and most importantly captain Kevin Pietersen, to do something special so that they can climb out of the hole they have dug themselves into. Quinton de Kock and Murali Vijay have got runs on and off, but they need to be more consistent.
CSK’s attack is also formidable with Ben Hilfenhaus leading from the front. Mohit Sharma has been a revelation while the wily Ravichandran Ashwin always has a trick or two up his sleeves to restrict the rival batsman. If that is not enough, Ravindra Jadeja is there as a big asset for the team with his all round ability.
DD will be looking to Duminy yet again, after the South African scored a 31-ball 39 on Saturday night against Rajasthan Royals. Though DD lost, Duminy did play a role to help them reach 152/5.
While reflecting on the loss to RR, Duminy had said that although they had done well to reach a decent total – given their situation at the halfway stage of the game – DD were a few runs short in the end.
“Given the nature of the wicket, I think we put on a defendable total. The wicket was quite slow. And losing wickets at crucial times, I always felt that 140-150 runs were going to be defendable,” said Duminy.