Daredevils v Royals, IPL 2014, Delhi May 2, 2014

Daredevils and KP hope for home revival


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Agarkar: Changes have made Delhi stronger

Match facts

Saturday, May 3, 2014
Start time 2000 local (1430 GMT)

The big picture

Four days off is normally a prospect the working man welcomes with glee, but in cricket, especially amid the manic assembly line of matches in the IPL, it threatens the momentum of a team. Delhi Daredevils won their last match, yet a prolonged break has left them in seventh place. The opportunity to climb the rungs arrives in the form of three matches in five days - all at home - the first of which is against Rajasthan Royals.

Daredevils have a history of living and dying by their streaks. In 2009, they knocked off eight of their first 10 opponents to canter into the semi-finals. They enjoyed similar fortunes in 2012, when a string of four victories set up a top-of-the-table finish. Last season, however, was relentlessly bitter as they inaugurated and signed off their campaign with six-match losing streaks.

Pietersen has not yet had a massive innings, but a return to familiar haunts - he strikes at 152.76 and has an IPL century at Feroz Shah Kotla - should provide encouragement. A vestige of rustiness has hampered him, notably early in his innings, but should he break the cobwebs, he poses a threat along with an in-form JP Duminy.

Rajasthan Royals have stuck to a familiar blueprint - an efficient set of batsmen who are certain of their roles and ability, backed up by a motley crew of bowlers who trust their armoury of variation to restrict the opposition. Aside from a shellacking by Maxwell, they have limited oppositions below eight an over comfortably. Against a Daredevils line-up that is yet to find it's groove that record might not be in much danger. Although Shane Watson and co have shown they have enough muscle in the batting and their think-tank knows just how to utilise it.

Form guide (most recent first)

Delhi Daredevils WLLWL
Rajasthan Royals WWLLW

Players to watch

Steven Smith faced three balls in a Super Over scenario and never once did he slog. Even when burdened with the match on his shoulders. His response to pressure coupled with swift feet and hectic disposition at the crease means he is suited to finish an innings - his current job - or resurrect one.

Rajasthan Royals have strangled their oppositions in the Powerplay. Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders were kept to under six an over and their slew of slower bowlers take over from there on. Quinton de Kock has the advantage of fast hands and isn't shy of taking risks for the run-rate. Daredevils will hope his progress early on is as smooth as possible and Royals' grip never takes hold.

Stats and trivia

  • Kevin Pietersen averages 36 in T20 cricket when he is not captain, but when at the helm it dips to 19.
  • James Faulkner's strike rate of 13.70 is the second best among players who have played more than 20 IPL matches.

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • aditya on May 3, 2014, 11:55 GMT

    I think the biggest concern for delhi won't be the form of its non performing players, but the delhi pitch...Delhi's pitch has always been low and slow and they have yet again, like last season, packed their side with seam bowlers, the only difference being that this time, the seam bowling options are sub standard. Though i would want delhi to win, rajasthan are clear favourites going into the game.

  • Dummy4 on May 3, 2014, 9:18 GMT

    I hope our (DD) batting fires, due to the fact they will likely play Parnell and Neesham is way more preferable in t20. If required, he cannot and will likely not have anywhere near the impact Neesham could in a long chase or in late runs setting up a total. Parnell was weak versus SRH,, good versus Mumbai (but everyone has been)... interesting to see how that plays out. It's the SA/IND show at the moment... but feel Neesham gives the team balance... otherwise our specialist middle-order batsman (Duminy) is our all-rounder... and anyway, why have only one? It is T20!!! There is no place for conservatism in such a format... that is the height of irony.

  • Android on May 3, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    1.Ajinkya Rahane 2.Unmukt Chand 3.Sanju Samson 4.Shane Watson 5.Stuart Binny 6.Tim Southee 7.Steve Smith 8.James Faulkner 9.Pravin Tambe 10.Dhawal Kulkarni 11.Rajat Bhatia

    If this team is played by RR they'll surely win....!!

  • Yogesh on May 3, 2014, 1:38 GMT

    RR continues to be under-rated despite being one of the most efficient "sum of the parts" team. Their players gel well as a team - it is like a well-made necklace made of different precious stones, where each stone has the potential to shine brilliantly on its own, but is so well-set and crafted that the overall effect is far more brilliant than the sum of the individual gems. What holds the players together is excellent man management and leadership from the support staff and the captain. They should hopefully win this one fairly comfortably tomorrow.

  • Dummy4 on May 2, 2014, 21:18 GMT

    Royals will boot the over hill KP into touch...

  • Android on May 2, 2014, 19:25 GMT

    dd going to win this match with dk's fireworks

  • Android on May 2, 2014, 19:12 GMT

    devils order

    vijay de cock jp duminy kp dk saurabh tiwary ls shukla and 4 bowlers.

  • Cricket on May 2, 2014, 17:22 GMT

    KP does need to come in at 3 as he needs some time in the middle to get into form. If he does well and de Kock fires at the top, DK might also benefit from a good platform to play pressure free cricket. That said, depending on the situation, I'd want JP to get as many balls as possible, so if required, he should come in before DK. Jadhav has finished well for DD in the past so they shouldn't keep JP back.

  • creebo on May 2, 2014, 14:19 GMT

    Kevin pietersen should bat at 3 and keep jp duminy at 5 , jp been brilliant as a finisher . . . If de kock and kp clicks , Delhi would be a dangerous batting line up with jp as finisher

  • Android on May 2, 2014, 14:09 GMT

    Rajsthan will loose

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