Delhi, Deccan look to leave basement
Tuesday, April 19, Delhi
Start time 1600 (1030 GMT)
Big pictureThis is a contest between a team that would like to believe it has turned a corner and another that seemed to have turned a corner, before it was rather rudely pulled back. They are also traditionally strong IPL sides: Delhi Daredevils and Deccan Chargers have both made two semi-finals each, and Deccan have won once. The auction has left them unsettled though. Delhi have lost many players, including the likes of Gautam Gambhir, Daniel Vettori and Dirk Nannes. Deccan have lost their captain and father figure, Adam Gilchrist, and big players like Andrew Symonds and Rohit Sharma. The replacements are there, and they come with reputations, but are yet to settle in and compensate for the losses.
Deccan shrugged off a slow start by beating Royal Challengers Bangalore, but Gilchrist and his Kings XI Punjab ran all over them in the fourth game to leave them with just one win from four matches. Delhi had a similar start to their campaign before they finally won in their third attempt, chasing down 188 against Pune Warriors in Mumbai.
It is still early days in the tournament - every team plays 14 games in the league stages - but three losses (a number already achieved by Deccan and one loss away for Delhi) will call for a huge effort coming back when teams know they need something in the region of nine to ten wins to make it to the play-offs.
Delhi came together as a team - for the first time this season, as captain Virender Sehwag remarked - in the win against Pune. Except for Tasmanian Matthew Wade, who seemed to struggle against spin in his first game, and wasn't even used as a wicketkeeper. Roelof van der Merwe could come back into the side.
Deccan will want to bring back Pragyan Ojha in place of Manpreet Gony, especially at the Feroz Shah Kotla, which has a reputation for being a slow wicket. Also worth considering will be including Cameron White ahead of JP Duminy.
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In the spotlight
Virender Sehwag is yet to play a Sehwag-like knock this season. He has had two starts, but will want to make a decisive contribution soon.
Amit Mishra learned all his cricket in Delhi, but because of selectorial neglect had to move to Haryana to play first-class cricket. Now after three successful seasons with the Delhi IPL team, he finds himself out again, and up against what should have been his home team at what should have been his home ground.
- In his previous game, Sehwag became the 12th batsman to have scored 1000 IPL runs.
- Pragyan Ojha, with 50 wickets, is one behind all-time leading wicket-taker in IPL, RP Singh.
"If you have a couple of players [retained from the previous season's squad] you can build the new team around them, with just one old player [Sehwag] that's difficult, but we are getting there. A couple of more wins and we should be there."
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo