Delhi look to avenge their last week’s 1-run loss when they take on Gujarat today
Rajkot: Fresh from their emphatic win over Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday, third-placed Delhi Daredevils take on the table-topper Gujarat Lions in what promises to be an exciting battle here today. Lions lost to Kings XI Punjab on Sunday.
The Daredevils are still rueing their loss to the Lions by one run off the last ball on Wednesday and must be eager to avenge the defeat. On the other hand, the Lions appear determined to make most of their last match at home and consolidate their position on the points table.
Delhi Daredevils’ players celebrate their win over Kolkata Knight Riders in New Delhi on Saturday. Pic/PTI
If the Lions have a strong batting line-up, the Daredevils can boast of a balanced attack spearheaded by captain Zaheer Khan, who is still dangerously effective in shorter bursts. With 3-21, he was largely instrumental in sending the KKR packing for 159 while chasing 187.
With 34 runs and three wickets, Carlos Brathwaite also played a part in the KKR’s debacle. Then, there are Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Morris and Mohammed Shami who, along with Zaheer and Brathwaite, form the Daredevils’ pace attack.
If the Rajkot pitch remains slow, these bowlers, as well as spinners Amit Mishra and Imran Tahir, may create problems for the Lions, just as KIXP’s Mohit Sharma and Axar Patel did on Sunday. But it will not be that easy to check Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith, Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthik.
Of course, if the Daredevils can get the fearsome foursome early, the rest of the Lions should be easy pickings as Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo and other late-order batsmen, save James Faulkner, have been struggling for runs.
The Lions, whose bowling is in the experienced hands of Praveen Kumar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Bravo, Faulkner, Jadeja and the young mystery spinner Shivil Kaushik, will surely target the chinks in the Daredevils’ batting line-up.
The visitors depend heavily on Quinton de Kock. But it will be a serious mistake to underestimate Jean-Paul Duminy, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Karun Nair and Sam Billings, who feature in the Daredevils’ top order.
In fact, Nair and Billings scored brilliant half-centuries against KKR. Like Brathwaite, Morris is another all-rounder capable of changing the complexion of a game. A close contest is surely on the cards.
Rajkot: Gujarat Lions all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was reprimanded for showing dissent at the umpire’s decision against King XI Punjab on Sunday. He expressed his displeasure after he was given out off the bowling of Axar Patel.