Delhi v Chennai, IPL 2013, Delhi April 17, 2013

Daredevils in quest for elusive first points

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Match facts

April 18, 2013
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big Picture

For Delhi Daredevils, desperate times are fast approaching. Each team will play 16 matches in IPL 2013's group stage. Daredevils have played five of those games without scoring a point; they've almost arrived at a stage where each game is a must-win for them to progress to the playoffs.

Why it has happened so is unclear. They have the names and experience that make successful Twenty20 combinations. In Mahela Jayawardene, they have a celebrated captain, in David Warner and Virender Sehwag, two of the most explosive openers in the game, in Morne Morkel one half of the world's best new-ball pairing. The backup cast of allrounders is not too bad either with Johan Botha, Irfan Pathan, Jeevan Mendis, Roelof van der Merwe and Andre Russell. Yet, they've been unable to put together a winning XI this year.

They came closest to points in their previous game, against Royal Challengers Bangalore, where the opposition's implosion meant the game ended in a tie. Umesh Yadav could not finish the one-over eliminator well with the ball, but 16 was still not too daunting a target. Who knows what could have been if - an albeit struggling for form - Virender Sehwag had not been off the field for the last three overs of the Royal Challengers innings and was eligible to bat in the Super Over.

Jayawardene said after the match that he wants to take the challenge ahead one game at a time, targeting wins in as many home matches as possible. On Thursday, Daredevils will begin that quest against Chennai Super Kings. But Super Kings, smarting from a shock loss to Pune Warriors, will be just as keen to win. Against Warriors on Monday, Super Kings' preferred method of building late into the chase before launching a brutal assault to mow down the stiffest of asking-rates did not come off.

Super Kings' inconsistency this season appears to be the result of a lack of solidity at the top; for the final surge to come, an adequate platform must be laid. The game against Kings XI Punjab apart, Super Kings have lost wickets and scored sedately in the Powerplay. Still, dropping Michael Hussey from the XI hardly seems the answer, as he has been the backbone of the batting over the seasons. It is a decision they must be reviewing ahead of the Daredevils game.

Players to watch

After managing to keep things tight all through his spell against Royal Challengers - he was hit for one boundary in his four overs, taking 2 for 22 - Umesh Yadav gave Daredevils a near-perfect start to their Super Over. Faced with the daunting task of bowling to Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers with licence to hit, he managed four deliveries in and around the vicinity of the blockhole. But two length balls to finish off the over cost Daredevils 12 runs and, eventually, the match. He will be wary of repeating that mistake against the power-packed Super Kings line-up.

Dirk Nannes had a forgettable day against Warriors. After conceding around four an over in Super Kings' first two matches, he was taken apart by Aaron Finch and then Steven Smith at Chepauk. He went for 42 runs in his four, without taking a wicket. Not the kind of figures the world's second-highest T20 wicket-taker will settle for. He'll be eager to make amends against Daredevils.

Stats and Trivia

  • 13-16: Daredevils' win-loss record in the IPL at Feroz Shah Kotla. Their win-loss ratio of of 0.81 is one of the poorest for IPL teams at home (min 15 games). Only Deccan Chargers had a poorer ratio (3-15 at Uppal)
  • Suresh Raina is one short of 100 games for Chennai Super Kings (IPL and Champions League combined)

Quotes

"Having lost five straight games, they have nothing to lose and will be coming hard at us. I will call DD 'Dangerous Delhi'."
Don't let complacency set in against an underperforming Daredevils, Super Kings bowling coach Andy Bichel warns

Nikita Bastian is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on April 18, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    we miss KP a lot but mahela is doing well with his captaincy it is upto Viru and warner to get off to a flying start and stick on to the basics right.

  • Indian_Logic on April 18, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    CSK will win !! They donot have that habit of long loosing :))))

  • usernames on April 18, 2013, 14:00 GMT

    As far as CSK are concerned, I think they are taking things way too easy. Having both Vijay and Raina in the top may not come off, especially when both seem to be out of form. I'd change the batting order just a bit -

    Hussey, Vijay, Badri, Raina, Dhoni, Jadeja, Bravo, Morris, Ashwin, Ahmed/Rajpoot, Nannes. Just have Badri at #3 and then the hitters galore!

  • SachIsLife24 on April 18, 2013, 13:57 GMT

    A point that has been made to death. Push Sehwag to Number 3. Mahela averages over 40 when he has opened in T20s at a SR of 136 but averages a measly 26 when he doesn't open. Also in 20 innings he has 1 century & 5 fifties as against just 3 fifties in the other 26 innings. Internationals is what I am talking about. Moreover, Sehwag has always been brilliant against spin. High time Mahela opened with Warner & Sehwag came in at Number 3. Also, both DW & VS are in my fantasy team. Both opening calls for some collateral damage owing to Law of Averages :p

  • usernames on April 18, 2013, 13:56 GMT

    I think Delhi ARE playing the wrong XI here. I'd go with Jayawardene, Warner, Unmukt, Van der Merwe, Jadhav, Sehwag, Pathan, Agarkar, Morkel, Nadeem, Umesh. This team has quite a few bowling options and the batting order means Jadhav, Sehwag, and Pathan come at just the right time.

    Someone like Juneja is great if you need some maturity but with Jayawardene, that's a given anyways. The problem with them is that their top order hasn't been in form but there's no solution to that. Get your XI right and you give yourself the best chance to win.

  • acdeepak on April 18, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    I think 6th in a row for DD CSK will be in fire today

  • aarvindarasu on April 18, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    It is chasing that has taken a toll on CSK's batting...Let Delhi bowl first for an instance, you'll see the consistency unfold by itself.

  • dummy4fb on April 18, 2013, 13:40 GMT

    Plz give to chance jeevan mendis.he is busy player and he can finish well.thanx..

  • shrastogi on April 18, 2013, 13:38 GMT

    Today's match would mean one third of matches in the league phase are over. The most impressive team easily been Royals where every player seem to be chipping in. CSK has top order worry but another fact that has compunded the problem is Dhoni's reluctance to bat up. He is the man in form and should bat for maximum overs. If you dont have wickets chasing 60 in last 5 overs would be done successfully only 3-4 times out of 10. On those 3-4 occassions everything that you hit would find boundaries or sail over. Rest would lead to frustration. So Dhoni think over as however good a finisher you are a false step at death would lead to more embarrasment. Bat up as you are man in form. As for Delhi theer are just too many all rorunders. They are also missing Pietersen and fully fit Sehwag. A loss today for them would mean miracle for qualification.

  • Kashif.naqvi on April 18, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    Does anybody know either Sehwag will today or not?