The Telegraph
Saturday , May 3 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

DD bank on Kevin vs Royals

New Delhi: After a topsy-turvy run in the UAE, the Delhi Daredevils (DD) would look to resume their India-leg campaign on a positive note when they lock horns with a resurgent Rajasthan Royals (RR), at the Kotla, here, on Saturday.

Out of five matches so far, the DareDevils won just two, against Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians, respectively, while the Royals have three victories to show.

They are now at the third position in the points table.

Both the teams, however, will take a lot of confidence from their comprehensive victories in their last match of the UAE leg. While the DareDevils notched up a six-wicket win over the Mumbai Indians last Sunday, the Royals showed nerves of steel to edge out the Knight Riders via Super over.

For the home team, J.P. Duminy has been the only batsman to show consistency with the bat, while stand-in captain Dinesh Karthik has just one half-century beside his name.

However, a lot will be expected from skipper Kevin Pietersen as his abilities can bring about a marked change to the DareDevils’ fortunes. At the same time, the likes of Quinton de Kock and Ross Taylor also need to do justice to their capabilities.

The Royals, on the other hand, riding back-to-back victories would obviously look to keep their momentum going. Shane Watson’s men have been a cohesive unit and always banked on team effort. Besides, the character they had shown against the Knight Riders should really increase their confidence. It could be a wise move if they promote the talented Steve Smith up the order, which gives him greater scope to play more of the big shots.

The dependable Ajinkya Rahane has continued to be rock solid at the top, but needs a proper opening partner should the Royals get off to a good start. The visitors have experimented with Abhishek Nayar and K.K. Nair.