Delhi Daredevils are keen to revive their old performance. They have finished at the top of the league table on two separate occasions, a league record. First, in 2009 under the leadership of Gautam Gambhir boosted by the performances of Tillakaratne Dilshan and AB de Villiers and in 2012 where a maverick Gautam Gambhir boosted by the performance of Tillakaratne Dilshan and AB de Villiers and in 2012 where an inspired Kevin Petersen carried them to the top of the table.
But, they failed to elevate themselves beyond the group stage. They fell when it really mattered and are yet to win the coveted laurel – IPL trophy. A bunch of superstar players have worn the Delhi colours including Glenn McGrath, Daniel Vettori, David Warner, Mahela Jayawardene, Ross Taylor and Virender Sehwag to name a few and it’s fair to say that the Delhi-based franchise hasn’t done justice to the talent they had at their disposal.
In 2015, they had a largely forgettable season finishing 7th on the table, just ahead of Kings XI Punjab. The GMR Group owned franchise will be hoping it’s 9th time lucky this year around. Funnier things have happened in the past in the IPL; for example, in 2009, the Deccan Charges went on to lift the IPL trophy after finishing at the bottom of the table the very previous year.
This season they have an exciting squad comprising of Carlos Brathwaite, JP Duminy, Quinton de Kock, Imran Tahir, Shreyas Iyer, Amit Mishra and bowling legend Zaheer Khan.
Strenght: Delhi have a good batting order with Mayank Agarwal, Quinton de Kock to open the innings JP Duminy and Karun Nair and Mahipal Lamoror will add depth to the middle order. The bowling attack with Zaheer Khan, Mohammad Shami and spinner Pawan Negi and Shreyas Iyer will strengthen the bowling attack.
Weakness: In the last three editions they could not do much. So this year they would like to make an impact. However, they fail when it matters the most. Their bowling bar Imran Tahir order is not impressive. So, we will have to see how to perform in pressure situations.
Predicted XI: Mayank Agarwal, Quinton de Kock (wk), JP Duminy, Carlos Brathwaite, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Shreyas Iyer, Pawan Negi, Zaheer Khan (c), Mohammad Shami, Karun Nair, Mahipal Lamoror.
Pitch conditions: it is expected that Eden Gardens pitch will be a batting friendly. A high scoring match will sparkle cricket spectators.
Weather: Hot and humid. The match will happen in the evening. But the temperature will notch up to 41 degrees. Humidity will be 40 per cent and the wind will blow 16 km per hour so spinners will get assistance.
Where to watch: Sony ESPN, Sony ESPN HD
Time : 8 pm