Delhi Daredevils v Pune Warriors, IPL 2011, Delhi May 20, 2011

Ganguly's last chance in dead rubber

The Preview by Dustin Silgardo

Match details

Saturday, May 21, Delhi
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big picture

It's the first dead rubber of the IPL. Somehow, for six weeks the tournament has managed to not have a single match completely devoid of meaning. Even the eternal optimist will find it hard to squeeze an ounce of significance out of Saturday's match between Delhi Daredevils and Pune Warriors though.

There are a couple of individual players to watch. It may be the last glimpse of Sourav Ganguly as a cricketer, Robin Uthappa will be keen for one big performance to step up his bid for an India place and Varun Aaron won't mind another opportunity to showcase his pace. For most though, it's the kind of game they'll want to end as soon as possible. There hasn't been a match at the Kotla since May 2, so it's difficult to know what to expect from the pitch.

In a way, the match is almost an advertisement for a two-tier system in which the bottom two sides are relegated. As the IPL group stage peters out to a dull end, the English football premier league will see its relegation battle go down to the last day with five sides fighting for safety. An introduction of a similar system in the IPL will create interest in the tournament for the struggling teams till the end.

Form guide (most recent first)

Delhi: LLLWL (tenth in points table)
Pune: LLWWL(ninth in points table)

Team talk

Aaron Finch has gone back to Melbourne after hurting his shoulder, so won't get the chance to improve his dismal IPL numbers. Both sides may as well give opportunities to their fringe players. Colin Ingram and Andrew McDonald have not been given enough of a chance for Delhi, while 18-year-old Unmukt Chand was given two games at the start of the tournament and was then dropped.

Kamran Khan, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala and Mohnish Mishra have all disappointed for Pune, but may get another chance now that nothing is at stake.

Play ESPNcricinfo Team selector.

In the spotlight

Curious Australian eyes will be on Callum Ferguson who has been starved of opportunities and runs so far. He could run into quite a few fellow Australians in the Delhi team.

After a forgettable season, it's Irfan Pathan's last chance to prove his doubters wrong. His $1.9mn auction price has been a weight around his neck, and perhaps with the campaign drawing to a close he will be able to play more freely.

Prime numbers

  • Delhi have actually amassed the second-highest number of runs this IPL season; their 2031 is second to Kings XI Punjab's 2108. However, the number of runs they've given way, 2073, is far more than any other team.
  • Pune's Mithun Manhas has the most ducks in IPL 2011 - four

The chatter

"We hope to make it to the semis. We have started on the next season. We are into a review process. We will bounce back strongly next year and things will change for us next season."
Delhi coach David Shipperd is already thinking a year ahead

"If you see he has taken around 17 [16] wickets in the tournament so far. We are also working on his batting and fielding; he is a bright candidate for one-dayers in the near future."
Yuvraj Singh predicts big things for legspinner Rahul Sharma