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The Preview by Siddarth Ravindran
April 22, 2013
Match factsTuesday, April 23
Big PictureWhether it was the inspiration of meeting Sir Viv Richards, or the abysmal bowling from Mumbai Indians or Virender Sehwag and Mahela Jayawardene finally playing the way they are expected to, Delhi Daredevils finally ended their winless streak at eight (including the losses in the playoffs last season). Chances of reaching the playoffs still remain remote, but at least they have got their campaign off the ground.
They made a big call ahead of the match against Mumbai on Sunday, dropping their best bowler from the previous season, Morne Morkel. His replacement Andre Russell, however, continues to leak runs at an alarming rate - his economy-rate of 9.95 is the third worst in the IPL, behind only the forgotten P Amarnath and his Daredevils team-mate Sehwag. Daredevils have struggled to settle on their four overseas players this season, and will have to tinker again against Kings XI Punjab.
Their opponents may have pulled off the joint highest chase of the season against Pune Warriors on Sunday, but have some major team changes to make. Two of their regulars, Adam Gilchrist and Azhar Mahmood, have fared poorly in recent matches and both are on the brink of losing their places. They might get another shot, as coach Darren Lehmann has ruled out Shaun Marsh for the match. Marsh, who joined the squad recently, has not played any cricket after recovering from a surgery and Lehmann stated that he would be considered for selection only after he regained full fitness and participated in fielding drills.
What will be a huge lift for Kings XI is that their team - generally regarded to have one of the most fragile batting line-ups in the tournament - managed to overhaul a stiff 185 against Warriors, even without needing the services of David Hussey. David Miller and Hussey have performed well for the side and the win against Warriors has lifted them to mid-table, above heavyweights like Mumbai and Kolkata Knight Riders.
Form GuideDelhi Daredevils WLLLL (most recent first)
Players to watch
One of the most valuable performers for Kings XI last season, Azhar Mahmood has had a patchy IPL 2013. In five innings, he has scored just 35 runs at an average of 7 and was out for a duck in a big chase yesterday. His bowling has been inconsistent too. Although he is the leading wicket-taker for Kings XI, he has conceded runs at crucial stages, including the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad. As a senior player in the side, Mahmood will need to contribute more.
The match against Mumbai Indians was the first time David Warner had not opened in an IPL game. With Daredevils having a difficult time this season, he has been shifted out of his favourite spot at the top of the order. Jayawardene has said he wants Warner to become a finisher, "to play the role that Kevin [Pietersen] played last year". Can Warner adapt to his new role?
Stats and trivia
Quotes"I am definitely under scrutiny, I have not scored runs. The drop catch was a really bad let off and it could have cost us the game. Not good enough for me. When we sit down at the selection table, we will have to look at that and see what's right."
"He is a star for the future. He has a good mind, wants to do well and I am really happy for him."
David Miller on young Kings XI batsman Mandeep Singh
Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Siddarth Ravindran
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