Can Daredevils avoid fifth straight loss?
Match factsTuesday, April 16, 2013
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)
Four matches played, four matches lost. Blink. A fourth of their season is already over, and Delhi Daredevils have drawn a blank. An IPL side plays a 20-over match roughly every three days. In between, they have to get around a huge country like India, factor in time for sponsor events and also squeeze in time for training. It is possible to get into a rut with all the stuff that goes on and off the field. Before you know it, the season is drawing to a close. Various IPL sides have gone through such periods where nothing seems to go right, Daredevils being the latest.
They have been outclassed in a couple of games, fought but failed to come back in one, and lost one which they had no business losing. The absence of Jesse Ryder and Kevin Pietersen is being felt more and more with every loss. Top-order batsmen will tell you that 20 overs only seem short, but you actually have a lot of time. Mahela Jayawardene might be wondering that three hours is too little to turn around his misfiring side.
Daredevils' opponents and the venue of Tuesday's game will make their task still harder. Royal Challengers Bangalore have won all three home games this season at Chinnaswamy Stadium. It is the two that got away that will make them even more dangerous against Daredevils. A Super-Over loss in Hyderabad followed by RP Singh's last-ball incredible meltdown in Chennai only reinforce what many have come to expect from Royal Challengers over the years. That for all the big names in their side, their bowlers will regularly fall apart at the death, and their fearsome batsmen will do the same in crunch matches. The IPL is into its sixth season, and Royal Challengers are yet to shake off that reputation.
Delhi Daredevils: LLLL
Royal Challengers Bangalore: LWWLW
Watch out for
Virender Sehwag finally played his first match of the season amid much expectation against Sunrisers Hyderabad. He lasted only ten deliveries, but looked alright before he ran one to wide slip. Not many batsmen would have opened the face with slip that wide, but Sehwag being Sehwag, he took on the fielder. As always, expectations will be high on Tuesday.
Chris Gayle's home run this season is 92*, 13 and 85*. His strike-rate at Chinnaswamy also jumps, from an overall 154.29 to 175.53. Unless Daredevils get him early, they run the risk of a fifth straight loss.
Stats and trivia
- Daredevils are behind only Mumbai Indians with an away win-loss ratio of 1.06 in the IPL
- Sehwag has hit the most sixes for a Daredevils batsman, 79 in 67 innings. Gayle has hit 143 in 47
"I am not really worried. We are playing some good cricket. A couple of good games have not gone our way. We have to keep improving."
Daredevils captain Mahela Jayawardene plays down Daredevils' poor showing so far
"We are under pressure to win every game. Hope this pressure will lead us to better results. The guys have got to be positive and have to work hard for tomorrow's game. That's all we can do."
Coach Eric Simons, though, is more worried
Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo