Delhi v Rajasthan, IPL 2013, Delhi

Royals take on depleted Delhi

The Preview by Devashish Fuloria

April 5, 2013

Comments: 42 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

Saturday, April 6, 2013
Start time 1600 (1030 GMT)

Rahul Dravid led Rajasthan's chase against Delhi, Delhi Daredevils v Rajasthan Royals, IPL, Delhi, April 29, 2012
Rahul Dravid will play his first match in almost a year © AFP

Big Picture

The first couple of matches are always about getting the ball rolling in a long tournament where the teams go through cycles of form and they are important in helping team management take an uncomplicated view. Rajasthan Royals open their season with a clean slate when they take on a depleted home side, Delhi Daredevils, who had an insipid outing in Kolkata in the first match of the tournament.

Royals are without one man who is likely to be a constant in their equation this season - Shane Watson, who is not available for this match - and that opens up a vital spot for them to test one of their imports. In-form Sri Lanka batsman Kusal Perera is almost certain in the XI but the choice of other three could depend on the surface laid out in Delhi. The other interesting bit for Royals would be how their captain-cum-coach Rahul Dravid copes with his first taste of competitive cricket in almost a year. The longer he takes to find his groove, the more muddled the strategies would get.

Daredevils are still handicapped by the absence of two of their impact players - Virender Sehwag, who is out with back spasms, and Morne Morkel, who is playing domestic Twenty20 in South Africa. But this time, they are playing at home, against a not-so-daunting opponent they have beaten every time at home and the team would hope to put up a better batting performance to get a move on.

Players to watch

Kusal Perera is a rising star in Sri Lankan cricket and Royals have been lucky to fetch his services for just US$20,000. A good season here and that price, in all likelihood, is expected to multiply a few times over. Perera is a powerful player who loves to play lofted shots on either side of the wicket. He has often been compared to Sanath Jayasuriya, who, 17 years ago, ended the career of another Delhi bowler on this ground.

David Warner had a quiet start to the tournament by his standards, but in the absence of Sehwag, his form is crucial for Daredevils to do well as the middle order appeared a bit undercooked in the last game. Warner has scored a century and two fifties on his home ground.

Stats and trivia

  • Daredevils have beaten Royals six times in the ten matches they have played against each other. They have lost just once in the last six matches
  • In Brad Hodge and Owais Shah, Royals have two of the top five run-scorers in Twenty20s
  • Rahul Dravid has scored 1703 IPL runs, which is the most among players from both sides


"I like Unmukt Chand a lot. He comes to my room often and asks me a lot of questions. We discuss how to deal with pressure situations and I tell him about my discussions with the Australian psychologist Mike Lloyd."
David Warner is impressed with his opening partner

"The game against Delhi last year was disappointing as we lost by just one run. We have learnt from our past mistakes and are ready to start from scratch."
Rajasthan Royals Ajinkya Rahane

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Dravidsundar on (April 6, 2013, 13:50 GMT)

I think Rahul Dravid has made a error in not picking Fiedel edwards! with sreeshanth he could have made bowling attack lethal

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (April 6, 2013, 10:33 GMT)

Badree to open v Warner makes sense here - Warner struggled v him everytime he played W.I good to see RR stick with Cooper after his fantastic start to IPL before his injury, will be interesting to see Perera go too.

Posted by Remoz on (April 6, 2013, 10:20 GMT)

So they picked kusal perera

Posted by   on (April 6, 2013, 9:46 GMT)

@rosh280..i dont think u r a gud follower of cricket...3 key player u talked abt delhi...2 are already out of the team....neither peterson nor ryder will be playing this season

Posted by   on (April 6, 2013, 9:36 GMT)

Anyone can tell anything about KUSAL JANITH. But i would prefer testing KUSAL today is a good idea without Watson.

Posted by Narbavi on (April 6, 2013, 9:23 GMT)

@ trav696: Don't make a joke out of kusal by saying he is better than the man of the tournament of the first ipl and the man of the tournament of last year's t20 world cup, every team in the world would die to have a player like watson in their team

Posted by   on (April 6, 2013, 9:14 GMT)

kusal is the reason i watch IPL

Posted by AjuNair on (April 6, 2013, 8:50 GMT)

so eager to see this match...3 players from Kerala in this team...Waiting to see Sachin Baby's performance..He performed very well through out this season in domestic T20..Sreesanth and Sanju Samson also hopefully can make into the final 11...Also looking forward for Rahane's performance..He should have to repeat his last year performance... Watson,O.Shah,K.Perera, Tait should have to be their foreign players..My 11. K.Perera,Rahane,Watson,O.Shah,Dravid,S.Baby,S.Binny,S.Sreesanth,S.Tait, S.Trivedi,S.Chandlla,

Posted by   on (April 6, 2013, 8:13 GMT)

Owais Shah or Brad Hodge i am confused, who will play ????????

Posted by   on (April 6, 2013, 7:29 GMT)

Sundar Mathimaran: What do you mean by "such a big arena"??? Are you saying that IPL is bigger than international cricket? may be for you.. but for kusal its just a domestic tournament in another country. so pressure to perform will be a lot less compared to international level.

Posted by Mi_Punekar on (April 6, 2013, 7:07 GMT)

Looking at the kotla pitch and opponent DD the playing 11 should be:

Dravid (as an opener b'cause can score faster with fielding restrictions are on rather than in middle order), K parera (Need to test him before watson joins), Rahane, Hodge/Shah, Maneria, S binny(as he can bowl too), Coopar(He will be effective on slower pitches like kotla), Harmeet(just for Kotla), Chandila(just for Kotala), Shreeshant, Edwords/Tait

Cngratulations Dravid for Padma Purskaar and best of luck for match Vs Delli

Posted by   on (April 6, 2013, 7:00 GMT)

It will be a grave mistake if RR opt out Kusal Kanith given his current form. He is not only plays as Sanath, he is better than him at times

Posted by PerfectTen on (April 6, 2013, 6:54 GMT)

My team for RR: Dravid, Rahane, Menaria, Hodge, Binny, Goswami, Cooper, Hogg, Trivedi, Tait & Sreesanth/Chandila. My team for DD: Mahela, Warner, Chand, Van der Merwe, Botha, Ojha, Pathan, Yadav, Jadhav, Rao & Agarkar. This should be a good contest with RR looking to be slightly ahead having seen DD's last match.

Posted by   on (April 6, 2013, 6:40 GMT)

Unmukt Chand will get going this time...C'mon DD

Posted by   on (April 6, 2013, 6:33 GMT)

There is lot of hype about kusal but i don think he can deliver in such a big arena remember Richard levi played for MI! we cant predict a player by one good series so RR should not react to pressure rather may go with their own strategy!my bet will be Watson,Owais shah,Cooper,Edwards they r pretty strong in spin in chandila etc good pacers with sreesanth,binny baby can bowl a bit. so team would be Dravid,Rahane,Watson,Shah,Goswami,Baby,Binny,Cooper,Chandila,Sreesanth,Edwards! Deccan charger won Ipl title cuz of edwards in 2nd edittion! he could be the steyn of RR! if watto not plays may go with Hodge!

Posted by ncpasan on (April 6, 2013, 6:24 GMT)

gonna watch their matches just to see Kusal Perera batting....... if he clicks they will go all the way for sure....

Posted by Thefakebook on (April 6, 2013, 6:09 GMT)

Royals have good team again and I remember that last game when Rahane missed 3 balls in row to get 2 runs against Delhi Daredevils and screwed Royals up and started a terrible series of losses to end Royal's chance of finishing in the top 4.There a lot hype about this Kusal Parera hope he does well if picked.But when Watto he won't be needed.Hodge and Shah are the two T20 legends and will play almost all the games.That leaves 1 room for an import to play & I got no doubts James Faulkner will claim it for good.He is the future of both Royals and Australia as an all rounder.

Posted by RiznyF on (April 6, 2013, 5:58 GMT)

Hope jeevan mendis gets a game. A very useful 20-20 player. Explosive batsman and wicket taking bowler. He could be Delhi's match winning player ih he's given an opportunity. A player of his caliber was missed in the previous game.

Posted by   on (April 6, 2013, 5:55 GMT)

Ok guys....let me go for three on the trot 1st Bangalore 2nd Hyderabad

U all talking about kushal perera Watch out for sachin baby and harmeet singh

More or less Rajasthan all the way this match

Posted by   on (April 6, 2013, 5:54 GMT)

c'mon, RR you can do it. all the best. Rahul Dravid is the best.

Posted by   on (April 6, 2013, 5:51 GMT)

Kusal Perera is one of the expected gun for the seasons!

Posted by Narbavi on (April 6, 2013, 5:30 GMT)

@SK5983: You want Hodge or owais shah to sit out and want Rahul to bat at 4 when watson returns? In your dreams pal, Kusal will only play when watson isn't available

Posted by   on (April 6, 2013, 5:18 GMT)

In this IPL I hope RBC will go to Final / semifinal because they have most valuable batsman. Virat kohli is a very good player & Cris Gayle is world Famous for T20 Cricket. I like both of the player any time they make a chage the target. I wishes for RBC to win the next match.

Posted by   on (April 6, 2013, 5:04 GMT)

In this IPL I hope RBC will go to Final / semifinal because they have most valuable batsman. Virat kohli is a very good player & Cris Gayle is world Famous for T20 Cricket. I like both of the player any time they make a chage the target. I wishes for RBC to win the next match.

Posted by vimukthirananjayaya on (April 6, 2013, 4:50 GMT)

kusal janith must play .i am dieing to see his beautiful strikes on the cricket balls.and royals pleas bowl first.because i'm home only after 5.15 ist .i want to see kusal bat. good luck kusal.

Posted by Crick_Expert on (April 6, 2013, 4:46 GMT)

IPL management should play fair game & add world class PAK players.

Posted by vak1997 on (April 6, 2013, 4:38 GMT)

There was some symptoms of Rahul Dravid not opening the innings this time. He's no good in any other position. He should anchor the innings and the other batsmen like Rahane, Hodge, Menaria, Shah, Kushal Perera should play around him.

Posted by QingdaoXI on (April 6, 2013, 4:15 GMT)

For first match RR should have Kushal, Ajinkya, Rahul, Owais, Menaria, Cooper, Binny, Baby, Chavan, Sreesanth, Tait. and once Watson returns than it should be Kushal, Watson, Rahane, Rahul, Menaria, Cooper, Baby, Binny, Chavan, Sreesanth, Tait/Edwards.

Posted by Narbavi on (April 6, 2013, 3:58 GMT)

looking at the availability of players, Royals 11 might be Perera, Dravid, Rahane, Hodge, Baby, Binny, Faulkner, Samson, Harmeet, Sreesanth, Tait/Edwards

Posted by nilb on (April 6, 2013, 3:00 GMT)

Looks like I'm not the only one excited to see Kusal play the IPL :) the only reason I watch it to be honest.

Posted by Sundara-Chandare on (April 6, 2013, 2:35 GMT)

kushal perera-you are the man we want to can dominate delhi bowlers very easily.firstly,he want joing the xi...

Posted by S-L-2-0-1-2 on (April 5, 2013, 23:27 GMT)

Good way for Kusal to announce himself on the world stage. Way to go!!

Posted by trav696 on (April 5, 2013, 23:19 GMT)

Anyway, who needs Shane Watson when you have Kusal Perera in your batting line up. Hope Kusal shows us what he is made of this season.

Posted by trav696 on (April 5, 2013, 23:17 GMT)

Paying Kusal Perera roughly 30,000 USD is an absolute joke. He is one of the most explosive batsman who has come into the scene who can clear boundaries with a flick and knock it around if needed. People compare him to Sanath Jayasuria, but to me he is a new and improved version of him (Sanath 2.0) if you will. If he doesn't get off to a flyer, he will knock it around and rip the opponent's bowling line up in 2 in the last 5. He is also a freak keeper... He will probably be fetching over 600,000 USD in next years IPL. @Baseball-Sucks, Kusal is definitely the player to watch in this year's IPL, and is a good experience for him.

Posted by Rathoreeeee on (April 5, 2013, 22:54 GMT)

My XI for 1st match Rahane, Parera, Dravid, Hodge, Owais, Maneria, Goswami/Yagnik, Binny, Trivedi, Shreesanth, Edwards/Tait. Later : Rahane, Parera, Watson, Dravid, Hodge/Owais, Maneria, Goswami/Yagnik, Binny, Trivedi, Shreesanth, Edwards/Tait. Can try Chandalia and Amit singh in between.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2013, 22:54 GMT)

Looks set for another hellish day for mahela. Last year too many big guns and this year too few. Fate indeed is cruel sometimes.

Posted by THCL on (April 5, 2013, 20:53 GMT)

I think Rahul won't open this time, if so Royal will fly high with Rehane + Kusal and one down Watson. Royal will be a team to watch out for this season. Some of their players are eager to prove some points - Watson, Sreeshanth, Rehane, Badree. Watch out for Watson he will let his anger release against poor bowlers.

Posted by Baseball-Sucks on (April 5, 2013, 20:13 GMT)

KUSAL PERERA.. The Player to Watch Indeed !!! He is gonna rock this competition. He must open the innings and his partner should make sure Kusal faces the maximum no. of deliveries. He has the ability to keep up the run rate 10+ during the first 6 overs single handedly. After the power play (if he is still there) , he knows how to change the gear n look for bad balls to put away. Looking forward to see the Perera Blitzkrieg tomorrow !! :))

Posted by   on (April 5, 2013, 19:41 GMT)

Way to go Kusal,keep the pride of Tiny Inland.

Posted by Rathoreeeee on (April 5, 2013, 19:15 GMT)

Its good everyone are considering RR as underdogs like first season.. the reason why RR won in the first season because we had players like 25 + 35 + 30 + 15 + 25 + 20 + 25 + 20 + 25 + 25 + 30 and others team had 60 + 10 + 40 +5 + 15 + 30 + 5 + 10 + 15 + 8 + 10 hope u understand... :-D This time we have the same.. :-)

Posted by CricManGame on (April 5, 2013, 19:06 GMT)

Hope Royals would give a chance to Kusal Perera. Guy is in supreme forrm. Could make a devastating opening pair with Watson when he is available.

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