The Delhi Daredevils and the Rajasthan Royals have got off to extremely contrasting starts in the 2015 IPL. The Daredevils lost a really close encounter against the mighty Chennai Super Kings at Chepauk. With 6 needed off the last ball, Albie Morkel hit a four, only to miss the boundary by mere six feet. On the other hand, the Rajasthan Royals comfortably thrashed the Kings XI Punjab at Pune. James Faulkner once again made a statement that he too was among the heavyweights of the game. His show with the bat, as well as with the ball was outstanding and the Royals easily defended the total of 162.
On 12th of April at Delhi, the hosts Delhi will have a perfect opportunity for redemption and getting off the mark. There is nothing easier than playing at home and winning the game. The Daredevils though, do not seem to be aware of this fact. Their record at the Feroz Shah Kotla has been simply miserable. In 2014, they did not win a single game at the Kotla. In 2013 as well, they struggled at their home turf. This time though, they can get off the mark, by winning at home, and atleast give the home crowd something to cheer.
PREVIOUS YEAR CLASHES:
The two sides in the 2014 IPL first clashed on the 3rd of May at the Kotla. The hosts could manage a moderate total of 152 in their allocated overs. Their batsmen got into the 20’s and the 30’s, but failed to make the starts count. The Royals never looked uncomfortable and chased down the target with ease. For the Royals, it was new recruit Karun Nair, who stole the show. His effortless show with the bat got him the Man of the Match for his innings of 73*.
The teams then clashed on 15th May at Ahmedabad. Batting first, the Royals got to a gigantic total of 201. Once again, it was a team effort with the bat, and every batsman played a crucial hand. The Daredevils’ batting card was a tale of sorrow and misery. The Daredevils were 91-8, when Manoj Tiwary scored a few runs and stretched the team total till 139. Ajinkya Rahane was the Man of the Match for his knock of 64.
In their opening encounter, the Daredevils skipper cleanly wasted his own talent by walking in at no.7 against the Chennai side. In T20’s it is time and again said that the best batsmen should face the maximum number of deliveries. Duminy must understand this and bat at no.3. Against the Royals, Dumniy will have to lead from the front, if the Daredevils are to stay in the hunt.
NATHAN COULTER- NILE:
The Aussie import was sensational for the Daredevils against the Super Kings. His opening spell right up blew the Chennai batsmen away. He got the crucial wickets of McCullum and Raina with his quick pace and accuracy. He can hit the block hole frequently as well. With Zaheer Khan and Shami, Coulter-Nile is a very healthy prospect for the Daredevils to have.
Rahane has a special connection with the Feroz Shah Kotla. He made his test debut here and his record in IPL at this ground has been good. Rahane would want to redeem himself after his duck against the Kings XI. One can expect the Royals opener to play a big one and get among the runs. His knock at the top will be crucial in influencing the final total of the Royals.
The Man of the Match of the RR vs KXIP game would surely want to make it two in a row. He was brilliant with the bat against the Punjabis. He severely dealt with Mitchell Johnson and clobbered him. His smart bowling was significant in denting the Kings XI. Expect this firm Kangaroo to be the same against the Delhi Daredevils.
Considering that Shami and Zaheer are back from their minor niggles, one expects them to make it to the playing XI.
1. CM Gautam 2. S.Iyer 3. JP Duminy 4. Y. Singh 5. A. Mathews 6. A. Morkel 7. K. Jadhav 8. N. Coulter-Nile 9. Z. Khan 10. A. Mishra 11. M. Shami
Clouds still loom over the fitness of Shane Watson. His place in the XI is still not certain as his injury status in not fully known.
1. A. Rahane 2. S. Samson 3. S. Smith 4. K. Nair 5. D. Hooda 6. J. Faulkner 7. S. Binny 8. C. Morris 9. T. Southee 10. D. Kulkarni 11. P. Tambe
The well settled Royals are the favourites for this game.