IPL Preview: Delhi Daredevils to test Punjab on home turf
Their confidence restored after a bumpy start, a transformed Delhi Daredevils will look to stretch Kings XI Punjab to the limit when they face off in the Indian Premier League (IPL) here on Saturday.
Daredevils' huge win over Rising Pune Supergiant acted as a warning to the rival teams, including their immediate opponents, whose unbeaten run in IPL-10 has just come to a screeching halt.
Daredevils are entering the match after hammering Rising Pune Supergiant by 97 runs, thanks to young batsman Sanju Samson's maiden IPL ton and Chris Morris' incredible power- hitting down the order. The South African's nine-ball 38 is still being talked about.
Punjab, who beat RPS and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the first two games, squandered an advantageous position to lose to Kolkata Knight Riders by eight wickets on Thursday night. Daredevils boast a strong battling line-up, which is full of all-rounders and will fancy their chances against Punjab bowlers, who did a decent job before being hammered around by the KKR batsmen.
The batsmen have largely delivered for the hosts except the openers -- Aditya Tare and Sam Billings. One or the other batsmen has clicked when the situation demanded - be it Rishabh Pant or Samson or Morris. But the openers have struggled to provide a solid start and it will be interesting to see if they persist with Tare or change the combination at the top. It seems Billings will continue in the opener's role.
Despite not having many specialist batsmen, Daredevils' strength is their young batting line-up even as skipper Zaheer Khan and spinner Amit Mishra have done reasonably well early into the tournament, and they would expect others to chip in.
Punjab bowlers have a job at hand, specially after KKR exposed their weaknesses at the Eden Gardens. The Punjab bowlers managed to restrict RPS and RCB under 165, but KKR skipper Gambhir and surprise opener Sunil Narine took them to the cleaners with remarkable ease.