Delhi Daredevils v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2011, Delhi April 25, 2011

Teams in transition clash on green top

The Preview by Dustin Silgardo

Match facts

Tuesday, April 26, Delhi
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big picture

After lacklustre starts to the tournament, both Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore have taken bold steps to try to improve their fortunes; for each of them, the moves worked in their last games. The newly-prepared green top at the Feroz Shah Kotla allowed Virender Sehwag and David Warner to play their strokes, as the ball came on to the bat, and the Delhi fast bowlers enjoyed the bounce they got from the track.

For Bangalore, the shot in the arm came in the form of new signing Chris Gayle, whose century helped turn around a trend that had seen Bangalore not manage an opening stand of more than seven in their previous four matches.

The switch from the traditional slow-and-low Kotla wicket to a livelier one makes sense for Delhi, since all their foreign players are either Australian or South African - and therefore used to bouncy tracks - while their most-expensive player, Irfan Pathan, is a seamer. Tuesday's match will be a test of whether the win against Kings XI Punjab was a one-off or whether their strategy to pack the side with seamers for home games can be a consistently successful one.

From Bangalore's point of view, they will want to make as much use of their new opening partnership before Tillakaratne Dilshan leaves for England, which could be as early as May 10.

Adding further interest is the fact that Bangalore snapped up four of Delhi's foreign stars from last year in the January auction. "Old Delhi v New Delhi," Delhi coach Greg Shipperd dubbed the contest, though with several players changing teams in the rejigging, former team-mates clashing is not uncommon.

Apart from the fluidity of players' loyalties, the other salient feature of the IPL tomorrow's match exposes is its innate forgivingness. In many other sporting leagues Delhi and Bangalore's starts of three losses in their first four games may have seen heads roll at the franchises. But because of the congested nature of the IPL table, both teams find themselves in a position where a single win will put them right back in contention for the knockout stages.

Form guide (most recent first)

Delhi: WLWLL (ninth in points table)
Bangalore: WLLLW (seventh in points table)

Team talk

Bangalore's batting has a settled look, but the problems in the bowling department are perhaps illustrated by the fact that Virat Kohli, who has an IPL bowling average of 93.00, has been one of their more economical options this season. They might want to include an extra seamer to make use of the Kotla pitch, but with Dirk Nannes injured there aren't too many options; both S Aravind and Abhimanyu Mithun have gone for more than 10 an over so far, while Johan van der Wath has gone at 9.87. So they may give left-arm spinner J Syed Mohammad, who impressed in the last game, another go.

Delhi went in with five seamers in their last game, and may stick with that strategy since they don't have any established international spinners in their squad. Ajit Agarkar went for 47 runs in four overs in the last game, but the man who could replace him, Ashok Dinda, hasn't exactly set the tournament on fire either.

Predict the playing XIs for this match. Play ESPNcricinfo Team selector.

In the spotlight

Aaron Finch entered the tournament with a big reputation, after his match-winning innings in a Twenty20 international against England, and his impressive performance for Victoria in the 2011 Big Bash. However, he has struggled on the slow Indian wickets, only managing 47 runs from five innings. The grass cover at the Kotla makes it a more familiar habitat and Tuesday is a chance for Finch to justify his billing.

Bangalore would have been pleased with the 123-run partnership between Gayle and Dilshan against Kolkata Knight Riders, and will now be looking for the middle order to give AB de Villiers some more support. Saurabh Tiwary will be key in achieving that end. He hasn't had the same impact since joining Bangalore as he did for Mumbai Indians last season, and will be looking to turn things around.

Prime numbers

  • Out of all the bowlers who have bowled more than five overs in IPL 2011, Bangalore captain Daniel Vettori has the best economy rate. He has gone at 5.75 in 20 overs so far.
  • David Warner has got the joint-highest number of half-centuries in this IPL, with three in five innings. He is fourth in the list of leading run-getters.

The chatter

"I prefer it when there is some bounce and carry on the pitch … and I'm definitely in favour of this wicket."
Morne Morkel is excited about the change in the Kotla pitch

"Half of their [Bangalore] side played for Delhi. They were our valued players. We tried to keep them in the auction but at last couldn't afford them."
Greg Shipperd, Delhi's coach, recognises the familiar names in the opposition camp

Dustin Silgardo is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on April 26, 2011, 13:07 GMT

    if dilshan and devilliers enter to the match rcb surelly have this game!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dummy4 on April 26, 2011, 12:57 GMT

    It should be batting feast today. The team winning toss would most likely choose to bat. Delhi got the better attack but if Gayle is on fire no attack can be adequate. As KXIP managed to cross 200 against this attack on this very belter, I'll tip RCB to edge DD today.

  • Lakmal on April 26, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    There is a a little known,yet powerful fast bowler warming the RCB bench. his name is NUWAN PRADEEP. The guy has a fearsome reputation in srilankan domestic circuit. pradeep is a malinga -alike slinger,who can bowl faster than malinga.He touches 150 + some times.The guy is included in the srilankan test squad for the upcoming england tour . Dan, RCB officials, you can test his talent if u want to win.If u don't want , let him warm the bench.

  • Aldrin on April 26, 2011, 11:35 GMT

    RCB has good combination and has not performed to their potential till now.. DD has already performed to their potential and showed their batting power. RBD has better batsmen and fielders. It will be a good game and my guess is RCB will win..

  • Dummy4 on April 26, 2011, 10:58 GMT

    Having posted 230+ against KXIP, DD could, should, and would have tried to better that NRR primarily responsible for their basement position at the moment. They aren't going to do themselves any favour by picking bowlers like Agarkar, who is renowned to be extremely batsmen friendly in limited overs' Cricket! Furthermore, it would take a braveheart captain not to bowl Pathan his full quota of overs and help the opposition better their NRR instead!! If DD are to make themselves count from here on, they will have to be ruthless and minimize sloppiness in all departments: batting, bowling and fielding!!! Best Luck Veeru & Co.!!!!

  • Dummy4 on April 26, 2011, 10:58 GMT

    On paper both teams look good, but what could be the difference is the Middle Order. RCB has more than a decent Middle Order whereas DD's Middle Order is struggling. In bowling too, RCB has slightly stronger attack in Zak and Vettori, whereas DD has only Morkel in the Wicket taking category. RCB has more all round ability too with 8 bowlers and 9 batsmen and THAT will be the BIG difference today. Having said that, if any of these Big Big Hitters, namely Dilshan, Gayle, DeVillers, Sehwag or Warner have their day then bowling, fielding, reputation all goes for toss. Can't wait to see the Big Battle.

  • Dummy4 on April 26, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    DD Team:Shewag,Warner,Oja,Venu,Macdonald,James Hops,Irfan,Nadeem,Morkal,Varun Aaron,Yogesh Nagar

  • shiva on April 26, 2011, 10:05 GMT

    may the BEST team WIN.(obviously its DD)

  • abdul on April 26, 2011, 10:05 GMT

    A.Finch should be replace and Travis Birt should be the best choice

  • shiva on April 26, 2011, 10:03 GMT

    both the teams r equal in strength in batting,so bowling plays an imp far as present situation is concerned delhi have the bettr chances of winning wth favourable factors such as home ground,know the pitch better than RCB ,etc. morkel, varun would be the key for DD

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