Millennium Post

Delhi hope to make winning start at home

After a disappointing loss in the season-opener, the Delhi Daredevils would be hoping for a better batting performance when they take on perennial underdogs, Rajasthan Royals, in the fourth match of IPL on Saturday.

A brittle middle-order, coupled with the absence of impact players Kevin Pietersen and Jesse Ryder due to injuries, has become a cause for concern for the Mahela Jayawardene-led side. The hosts would be keeping their fingers crossed for the return of dashing Indian opener Virender Sehwag, who missed the last match due back spasms, to reinforce their batting line-up. Dubbed as a top-heavy side, Delhi’s middle-order failed to capitalise on a brisk start provided by Jayawardene and explosive Aussie batsman David Warner on a slow Eden Gardens’ track against Kolkata Knight Riders.

Delhi would be keen to make amends for the crushing six-wicket defeat on Wednesday. The decision to try rookie batsman Manprit Juneja did not bear fruits for the Daredevils, as he looked uneasy in his brief stay at the wicket, and the side would be better served by the experience of Venugopal Rao in the middle order. Despite the unavailability of last year’s Purple-Cap holder, Morne Morkel, for the second consecutive game, Delhi’s bowling attack looks settled unit.

It features a three-pronged pace attack comprising Irfan Pathan, Ashish Nehra and Umesh Yadav, besides left-arm tweaker Shahbaz Nadeem. Morkel is currently playing for his domestic side in South Africa and will join the squad from their third match, against the Mumbai Indians on April 8. Out of the 10 meetings in IPL, Daredevils have six wins and four losses.


Dashing England batsman Kevin Pietersen turned up at Delhi Daredevils’ training session at the Feroze Shah Kotla ON Friday to boost the morale of his teammates. Pietersen, ruled out of IPL 6, due to a knee injury, was seen talking to his teammates ahead of Delhi’s game against the Rajasthan Royals. The 32-year-old, who was seen wearing knee braces, is in the national capital on a personal visit.
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