Kochi Tuskers Kerala v Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2011, Kochi April 29, 2011

Kochi desperate to avoid joining Delhi


Match facts

Saturday, April 30, Kochi
Start time 1600 (1030 GMT)

Big picture

Delhi Daredevils are eating with the IPL's wooden spoon at the moment, dwelling at the bottom of the league table, after five defeats in seven matches. Their margins for error are thin and they need to win a substantial number of their remaining games to have a hope of finishing in the top four.

Delhi have just suffered two defeats at home, on a Feroz Shah Kotla pitch transformed to suit their seam-heavy attack and their hard-hitting batsmen. The first loss was against Royal Challengers Bangalore, a match they were in until the very end. The second, against Kolkata Knight Riders, was a thrashing. Their firepower lies in the top order but Virender Sehwag and David Warner have fired in unison only once. The bowling, though, is the problem. In the absence of a quality spinner, their attack is one-dimensional and opposition teams thrive on the lack of variety.

Kochi Tuskers Kerala are seventh in the league. They are a defeat away from being in Delhi's boat. They are a victory away from landing close to the top four. In their previous game, chasing Deccan Chargers' 129, Kochi collapsed for 74. It wasn't a one-off either, for before that game, they were dismissed for 109 by Rajasthan Royals: two collapses that eroded the platform built by three consecutive wins. The fact that Ravindra Jadeja, who's scored 185 in seven innings, is their second-highest run-getter, ahead of Mahela Jayawardene and Brad Hodge, reveals the extent of their batting woes.

Form guide (most recent first)

Kochi Tuskers Kerala: LLWWW (eighth in points table) Delhi Daredevils: LLWLW (tenth in points table)

Team talk

In their previous game - the loss to Kolkata - Delhi fielded David Warner, James Hopes, Morne Morkel and Travis Birt as their overseas players. Morkel was the spearhead of a five-man seam attack also comprising Irfan Pathan, Hopes, Umesh Yadav and Ajit Agarkar. Given that the present composition isn't working, Delhi could considering giving season debuts to either Colin Ingram or Andrew McDonald. Roelof van der Merwe's left-arm spin is another option they might consider to diversify their bowling options.

Kochi's overseas players against Deccan were Jayawardene, McCullum, Hodge and Thisara Perera and that is unlikely to change, unless Muttiah Muralitharan plays for Perera. Both Raiphi Gomez and Kedar Jadhav have not impressed with the bat so far, so perhaps it's worth giving Tanmay Srivastava a go.

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

In the spotlight

Jayawardene and McCullum v Warner and Sehwag: Of all the IPL teams, Kochi and Delhi probably rely on their openers the most. Kochi's pair bats with imagination and places the ball into unusual areas. Delhi's duo simply smashes it. In their varying styles, all four are proven destroyers of attacks and the pair that prevails tomorrow is likely to decide the contest.

Venugopal Rao v Ravindra Jadeja: Rao is Delhi's second-highest run-scorer, with 209 at a strike-rate of 129. Jadeja is Kochi's, with 185 at a strike-rate of 130. Both play similar roles for their teams, shoring up a top-order wobble or providing an aggressive finish. In top-heavy batting orders, they perform vital supporting roles.

Prime numbers

  • The 55-run margin of Kochi's defeat against Deccan was the largest in IPL 2011.

  • Delhi's 231 against Kings XI Punjab is the highest score of the season, evidence of what their batsmen can do.

  • Sehwag's strike-rate of 168 is the season's highest for batsmen with at least 200 runs.

The chatter

"There was grass on the wicket, there was moisture too. I don't want to discuss the wicket factor too much, but it was not the wicket that we wanted."
Mahela Jayawardene on the pitch on which Kochi were shot out for 74 by Deccan Chargers. Kochi are playing at home once again.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • manish on April 30, 2011, 10:10 GMT

    Delhi dare devils nothing more to this tournament are going to play to bring back their goodwill some extent.Both teams almost have equal position in the point table and today's victory will be inject the energy to go ahead in the tournament to join the race of playing offs. These teams have to see at Rajasthan Roayals not having much resources but good cricket management brought them to top 4 in the tournament to use their limited options.

  • Rajeev on April 30, 2011, 9:20 GMT

    Delhi should win this to make the IPL 2011 table into tight position.

  • avinash on April 30, 2011, 9:12 GMT

    deihi needs a spin bowler who can bat.i think adam voges is a good one.he can bat and bowl 4 overs.

  • kunal on April 30, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    i think naman ojha should not be picked instead of it they should find some other keeper

  • Cricinfouser on April 30, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    One thing which Delhi is lagging behind is having some luck........they have the disastrous batting lineup...all they need to do is to have a spinner in bowling attack may be merve in place of birt....

  • abilash on April 30, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    klinger should open for injured mccullum & o.shah for hodge. bring murali back in the side.play yashpal & tanmay today. For delhi my x1 is 1.viru 2.warner 3.ojha 4.venu 5.hopes 6.y.nagar 7.vander merwe 8.irfan 9.agarkar 10.morne 11.umesh

  • sunil on April 30, 2011, 7:47 GMT

    Lots of comments asking for Tanmay Shrivastava . Kochi released him , Chandan Madan , Deepak Chougule and 2 others I don't remember , temporarily . As far as I know they haven't recalled them . I feel Klinger should get a chance ahead of Hodge for this match . Make him open and let Jayawardane come at 3 to stabilise in case of an early loss of wicket . They can chose Murali or Thissara based on their reading of the pitch .

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    Delhi's combination is not good so far in this IPL4. They need atleast one good spinner and then go with Nagar. He is part timer and be handy in some situations. Delhi must open with Naman Ojha and Viru, then Warner, Venu, Hopes, Nagar, pathan, merve, aoran, yadav, morkel. Viru, I am great fan of you. You need to be there atleast 12 overs in crease. If you are there, Oppostion team surely in back step. Please pick the right combination against KTK and win it. You need some luck too as like Dhoni. YOU ROCK MAN... VIRU... GO VIRU..

  • Harish on April 30, 2011, 6:26 GMT

    I think the DD Playing XI should be some change in the place of Brit for Colin Ingram, RD Marve for Morne morkel. Warner should come at no. 3 and irfan should be his 7 slot and venu should follow warner to play as a good inning.

  • Romanch on April 30, 2011, 6:24 GMT

    DD will bounce back from this match, and i m sure DD will play champions league in this year.. go DD go

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