Delhi seek retribution against in-form Punjab
Match factsSaturday, May 17, 2008
Start time 20.00 (local), 14.30 (GMT)
The Big PictureMore than a battle for northern pride, this encounter will have a big bearing on who finishes where in the tussle for semi-final spots. After this game, both sides will have two home games to play, and victory at the Feroz Shah Kotla will smooth the path to the Promised Land. Sportsmen these days dislike talk of revenge, but Delhi are still smarting about the nine-wicket hammering in Mohali, and a spot of retribution will be most welcome as they look to recapture the form of the first fortnight, when they won four of their first five.
Kings XI Punjab's fortunes have waxed as Delhi's have waned, and six wins from their last seven makes them the form side of the competition along with the Rajasthan Royals. The emergence of Shaun Marsh and the improvement shown by a chastened Sreesanth has enabled them to shrug off the disappointment of losing Brett Lee and Simon Katich to Australia's tour of the Caribbean.
Delhi's recent losses have largely been the result of top-order collapses, and it hasn't helped that only three batsmen, the first three in the batting order, have more than a 100 runs in the competition. The format isn't ideal for middle-order batsmen, but the likes of Manoj Tiwary, AB de Villiers and Dinesh Karthik will need to do much more when they get the opportunity.
Tournament positionDelhi Daredevils: P10, W5, L5, NRR +0.331
King's XI Punjab: P9, W6, L3, NRR +0.458
Form (last five matches, most recent first)Delhi Daredevils: WLLLL
King's XI Punjab: WLWWW
Watch out for ...
Team newsIf Mohammad Asif continues to struggle with his fitness, AB de Villiers may get a recall. Pradeep Sangwan or Yo Mahesh may then replace Dinesh Karthik as Delhi look to strengthen the pace department.
Delhi Daredevils (probable): 1 Virender Sehwag (capt), 2 Gautam Gambhir, 3 Shikhar Dhawan, 4 AB de Villiers (wk), 5 Manoj Tiwary, 6 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 7 Farveez Maharoof, 8 Rajat Bhatia, 9 Amit Mishra, 10 Yo Mahesh, 11 Glenn McGrath.
With Kumar Sangakkara still out injured, Luke Pomersbach should keep his place. Otherwise, the side is pretty settled after a successful run.
Kings XI Punjab (probable): 1 Shaun Marsh, 2 James Hopes, 3 Luke Pomersbach, 4 Yuvraj Singh (capt), 5 Mahela Jayawardene, 6 Irfan Pathan, 7 Tanmay Srivastava, 8 Piyush Chawla, 9 Uday Kaul (wk), 10 Sreesanth, 11 VRV Singh.
Stats and trivia
Quotes"Legspin is an art and the legspinners have got a lot of variety. We've got Piyush Chawla, who has been doing very well, while Delhi has got Amit Mishra. He [Amit] has played for India and is also in fine form."
Yuvraj Singh reckons the slow bowlers could be a factor at the Kotla.
"At this stage, all the matches are challenging for us. They [Kings XI] have been on a roll but however good you may be, someone will come and beat you hands down. Maybe we'll do it tomorrow."
Virender Sehwag isn't short of confidence after bucking the losing habit.
Dileep Premachandran is an associate editor at Cricinfo