Delhi Daredevils v Royal Challengers, IPL 2014, Sharjah April 16, 2014

Pietersen to miss Delhi's first game


Play 05:20
Hattangadi: KP loss makes Bangalore favourites

Match facts

Thursday, April 17, 2014
Start time 1830 (1430 GMT, 2000 IST)

Big Picture

This season of the IPL is quite important for Virat Kohli. He is widely expected to take over the leadership of the Indian team when MS Dhoni relinquishes it. Leading his franchise to the title would not do his national prospects any harm at all. Gautam Gambhir's leadership credentials started being talked up after he led Kolkata to the title in 2012. It is a different matter that his batting form did not hold up on the international stage. Kohli has been Bangalore captain for a while now and with the kind of batting riches at his disposal, including Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers, it has to be highly disappointing for him that the franchise has not even made the playoffs of the last two editions. As he said recently, this could potentially be the season Bangalore are finally able to break the title drought.

Kevin Pietersen, the Delhi captain, will be leading a franchise in the most lucrative cricket tournament in the world months after having his international career terminated by his own board. It is a development the cricket world will be watching closely. However, it will have to wait because Pietersen has been ruled out of Delhi's opening match with a finger injury. "Kevin is still a few days away so he won't be considered for tomorrow," Delhi assistant coach Eric Simons was quoted as saying in the Guardian. "It is obviously a setback because he's an important player in our set-up and an important player in any team. It is a difficult situation." Pietersen is doubtful for the second game too.

Dinesh Karthik will lead Delhi against Bangalore. As has become somewhat of a permanent feature for Delhi over the years, Karthik will have a battery of fast bowlers to choose from, led by India quick Mohammed Shami, to try and counter the might of the Bangalore batting, which had another big name added at this year's auction in Yuvraj Singh.

Watch out for ...

Yuvraj Singh finds himself out of India's Test and ODI squads and will quickly want to forget his previous T20 match for the country - the World T20 final a couple of weeks ago in Dhaka. Kohli wanted Yuvraj so dearly that he had his franchise owner put in the auction's highest bid for the senior batsman. This is a critical season for Yuvraj on so many fronts.

Dinesh Karthik's international career has unfortunately coincided with Dhoni's, which means the opportunity to play comes rarely even though he has been around for so long. It came in the recent Asia Cup, but Karthik did not really make it count. He was the second costliest buy in the auction after Yuvraj, and will have another season to make his case again.

Stats and trivia

  • The head-to-head record between these teams stands at 5-5, with one game tied

  • Virat Kohli is one of only two batsmen who have been dismissed for 99 in a T20 innings


"I feel he is going to be the X-factor for us this season."
Virat Kohli on Yuvraj Singh at the tournament's official website

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rahul on April 17, 2014, 21:47 GMT

    @know_ur_game - Thats called BLIND FAITH in a has been. Please enlighten everyone what others batsmen did and what decisions dhoni made of sending an out of form.struggling Yuv who almost cost games against SA,WI and played in a dead rubber with no pressure against Aus ahead of Raina who had a SR of 170+ in the WT20 ? Kohli faced 4 balls in the last 4 overs. Watch Yuv innings he did not even "Try" to hit a ball until he wasted 15+ balls.Kohli had all the momentum & Yuv could have tried to score instead of being selfish to stay there. India lost 3 Wickets+ 1 runout off last ball. If other players played at a SR of Kohli india could've scored almost 160. And check before you comment Rohit 29 off 26. Yuv has lost his physical ability after cancer which is clearly evident. Cant even properly. Clearly Yuv playing on past performances will damage india even more. If I was the opposition I would love Yuv to be in the Indian team.Stupid of some fans getting emotional everytime & backing him.

  • Android on April 17, 2014, 13:58 GMT

    IPL is not about Indian cricketers fresh emerging cricketer is getting benefit but international.. yes its Now International Premiere League....

  • Dummy4 on April 17, 2014, 13:22 GMT

    we need zaheer khan in indian tyeam for the upcoming world cup 2015

  • biju on April 17, 2014, 12:30 GMT

    Thank you, Gautam Lal. At last I heard somebody saying the true fact for WT20 loss. It was not the innings by Yuvi made the difference. It was actually the teams attitude in the final made the difference. These days everybody praise anything V Kohli done or not done because its just like Sachin's early days for him. But a true introspection will show that Kohli himself had wasted the initial PP overs against bowlers like Mathews for nothing and put undue pressure on Rohit on the other end who duly perished while trying to hit out. BUT WE NEED A SCAPEGOAT FOR EACH LOSS..... AND YUVI WE FEEL SORRY FOR YOU. But many people like me admire & love you for the true weight of matches, tournaments & cups won for the country.


  • Dummy4 on April 17, 2014, 12:00 GMT

    Good to see a statement that yuvraj is done. Write him off at your own peril. I still feel there is one last phase. Maybe 2015. World cup. Let's keep our fingers crossed

  • Sam on April 17, 2014, 11:57 GMT

    My Teams:

    RCB XI: (Kohli should open, use the 5 batting dynamites upfront) 1 Gayle 2 Kohli (C) 3 De Villiers 4 Yuvraj 5 A Morkel 6 Zol 7 P Patel 8 Jakati 9 Starc 10 Aaron 11 Dinda.

    DD XI: (KP is a huge miss) 1 De Kock 2 Vijay 3 Duminy 4 M Tiwary 5 R Taylor 6 D Karthik (C+WK) 7 Neesham 8 Shami 9 Unadkat 10 Rahul Sharma 11 Nadeem.

  • Android on April 17, 2014, 11:56 GMT

    The key to Daredevils success is how high the position they bat Rosco. Best is in at 3.

  • Dummy4 on April 17, 2014, 11:48 GMT

    Yuvraj lost his strength after CANCER , i think he must stop trying to prove himself and go out as a hero , not a struggler..

  • Dummy4 on April 17, 2014, 11:39 GMT

    go dheli we are going to rock.i wish taylor and de knock will blow the fans away

  • Paulo on April 17, 2014, 11:38 GMT

    "Dinesh Karthik's international career has unfortunately coincided with Dhoni's, which means the opportunity to play comes rarely even though he has been around for so long."

    He averages under 28 in 71 ODIs and 23 tests. He's had plenty of opportunity, but has failed. His ODI record is almost as bad as Kieron Pollard. As a keeper he is poor- he always seems to drop the ball