Daredevils bank on home support to end losing streak
New Delhi: Maintaining their tag of perennial underachievers in Indian Premier League, Delhi Daredevils will look to climb out of the bottom of the table against Kings XI Punjab in their first home game of the season at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium here on Monday.
The Gautam Gambhir led-side will be happy to be back at their home ground after a string of dreadful performances while travelling.
Daredevils managed just one victory in five matches when they defeated Mumbai Indian as they successfully chased down a massive 195 target.
The result pretty much explains the plight of the national Capital side, whose batting show has been marked with sporadic performances but pedestrian bowling have let them down.
Skipper Gambir seems to be in good touch,and is timing the ball well but failed to convert his good starts into big scores. However, the young colts in Risabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer have played some whirlwind knocks this IPL season.
Jason Roy, whose blitzkreig took Daredevils past Mumbai Indians, has been disappointing except for the 53-ball 91 runs innings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
The bowling attack, spearheaded by in-controversy pacer Mohammed Shami, has been the weakest link of the side. Gambhir admitted earlier that he is losing his sleep over the dreadful display of his bowling side after they conceded close to 400 runs in 40 overs.
Trent Boult, whose blinder of a catch of Virat Kohli on Saturday caught everyone's attention, has been quietly doing his job by picking seven wickets in five games but conceding runs at an economy of 8.54 has nullified his contribution.
While spinners have been playing a key role in victories this IPL, experienced Ranji campaigner in Rahul Tewatia and Shahbaz Nadeem have failed in outfoxing batsmen.
Kings XI, on the other hand, are rejuvenated after their old guard Chris Gayle went back to his familiar ways of slaughtering bowlers. After scoring the first century of IPL 11, the Jamaican opener led his side to another win against Kolkata Knight Riders with an unbeaten half-century and subsequently took the Chandigarh-based franchise to the second spot on the table.
KL Rahul, who has been making a case of his own to consolidate his spot in the national side, has forged a reliable partnership with Gayle for the first wicket. The duo has built a 50-run stand on all but one occasion.
The middle order, however, is yet to show is worth as it has mostly remained untested. The likes of Karun Nair, Yuvraj Singh, Aaron Finch, and Mayank Aggarwal so far have been bleak with the bats.
The team was dealt a major blow when allrounder Axar Patel got injured after just two outings. But Kings XI coped up well despite his absence as Mohit Sharma and Andrew Tye have bowled well.
Ravichandran Ashwin, whose limited-overs credentials have always been questioned, has gone for plenty with an economy rate of 8.55 and has claimed 5 scalps in as many outings as skipper.
Despite his disappointing show with the ball, the newly-appointed skipper must be brimming with confidence after two big back-to-back wins .