The Telegraph
Saturday , May 10 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Crucial match for DareDevils

New Delhi: Languishing at the bottom after three consecutive defeats, a beleaguered Delhi Daredevils (DD) have no option but to win all their remaining games, starting with the tie against Sunrisers Hyderabad, here, at the Kotla, on Saturday, to salvage any hope of qualifying for the last four.

With just two wins out of eight games, the DareDevils are languishing at the bottom of the points table and it appears something similar to a miracle is required at present to help them reach the knockout stage. What’s been worse for the DareDevils is that their return to home has been nightmarish so far as they have remained winless in three matches at the Kotla.

While their batting has been inconsistent in the tournament, the patchy and unimpressive performance of the bowlers — Mohammed Shami, Wayne Parnell, Siddharth Kaul and Shahbaz Nadeem — did not help the side’s cause either.

To address their bowling woes, the DareDevils team management may induct Imran Tahir into the playing XI. In that case, the axe may fall on opener Quinton de Kock.

The poor form of their star player and captain Kevin Pietersen has added to the DareDevils’ misery. Pietersen has just managed 62 runs from five innings, which is way below the mark and of course, expectation. Going by his standards, it was definitely not the start Gary Kirsten would have expected from his first coaching assignment with any IPL side.

Sunrisers, on the other hand, will be a more confident lot going into Saturday’s match, especially after the morale boosting 32-run victory over the Royals that kept them afloat in the top-four race.

Sunrisers now find themselves in the fifth spot with three wins from seven games.

Just like the Daredevils, Sunrisers’ batting too has been inconsistent. But their bowlers came to the rescue, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4/14) playing a lead role especially against the formidable Royals on Thursday.

But it is captain Shikhar Dhawan who will need to lead from the front in the batting department. A good start is of paramount importance in this form of the game.