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It’s been a while since either of the teams has taken the field. The Delhi Daredevils were last seen in action on April 10 when they beat Chennai Super Kings. Harbhajan Singh’s team last took the field on April 11 when they defeated Rajasthan Royals in a high-scoring game at the Wankhede Stadium.
Monday, April 16, 2011, 08:00 p.m.
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Whenever Sachin Tendulkar is on the field, he commands all the attention. The Little Master missed the last couple of matches because of a finger injury he sustained in the opening match of the tournament, but is likely to be back in action for this game.
On the bowling front, look out for Lasith Malinga’s toe-crushers; the Sri Lankan is among the most consistent wicket-takers in the Twenty20 format and batsmen have found his yorkers, combined with his slingy action, too hot to handle.
Virender Sehwag is possibly the biggest factor that influences Delhi Daredevils’ fortunes. The DD skipper, who looked out of sorts in international cricket in the lead up to the IPL, seems to have rediscovered form against CSK, scoring 33 off 21 balls.
The inclusion of Mahela Jayawardene and Kevin Pietersen in the Delhi Daredevils line-up has made them look a very dangerous unit; both batsmen have been in tremendous form this year and looked equally good in the match against the defending champions. Previous Meetings
It’s been one-way traffic – at least in recent times – in fixtures between MI and DD. MI have won each of the last four matches, and five of their eight meetings overall. Virender Sehwag’s team has never beaten the Mumbai Indians in Mumbai and they will be keen to correct that record this time around. Trivia
• Mahela Jayawardene has an outstanding record as an opening batsman in Twenty20 cricket; in 35 innings as opener, he’s scored 1418 runs at an average of 45.75 and at a strike-rate of 136.82. He has two centuries and 12 half-centuries to his credit as an opener.
• Of the five bowlers who’ve dismissed Kevin Pietersen most frequently in T20s, three are off-spinners. Harbhajan Singh is on top of the list, having dismissed him eight times in 22 matches (including twice in two IPL matches). What next?
Mumbai Indians will enjoy yet another lengthy break after this match; they won’t be seen in action till April 22 when they host Kings XI Punjab. Delhi Daredevils, meanwhile, head back home to host Deccan Chargers on April 19.
Rajasthan Royals skipper says his team can beat any opposition on their day
By IPL Staff
Bengaluru 14 April 2012
After finishing his international career, Rahul Dravid is now mentoring and leading the Rajasthan Royals in DLF IPL 2012. His team has won both home games, but has also lost as many away fixtures so far. RR’s next challenge is taking on the strong Royal Challengers Bangalore in their own backyard.
Ahead of the big game, Dravid spoke in detail about his team’s performance so far, and admitted that they need to start winning away from home to become a force to reckon with in the tournament. Excerpts:
On RR’s ordinary away record
We are discussing that. We know that we’re quite a tough team to play at home and we know our conditions really well. We haven’t had a great record away and that’s an area where we want to get better at. One reason for that is that we have a very young squad. I thought, in the last two games that we lost, we were quite competitive and we weren’t outclassed by any stretch of imagination. They were close games and things could have gone any way. But yes, we need to start winning games away from home as well.
On his Bangalore homecoming
It’s always lovely to come back and play in Bangalore; it’s the place I’ve grown up, and [I’ve] got some of my greatest memories playing here. It’s going to be exciting for me to play in this stadium in front of my home fans. Last season, our game in Bangalore was washed out and I’m looking forward to playing here this time around. On whether he’s batting freely in Twenty20 cricket after retiring from Tests
If you noticed in the past seasons of the IPL, I’ve always tried to play shots suiting this format, and I haven’t approached it any differently this year. As always, I’ve been practising, working on certain shots and the things I want to improve on. It’s just a constant process – practise, enjoy it and keep trying to add to it by doing different things. That has been true for every year I’ve come into the IPL. On RR’s team motto
At Rajasthan Royals, we believe in keeping things as simple as possible. We want to give people the freedom to play and express themselves and try to create a fun environment within the team. These are the things I noticed with Warnie [Shane Warne] in the last season. And it’s the same this year. We don’t over-complicate things, don’t have long meetings and don’t spend a lot of time in practice. However, we ensure whatever we do, there’s intensity and an element of fun in it. I’ve been pretty pleased with the way the guys have performed in the last four games. Irrespective of the losses, I’m enjoying the fact that some of our youngsters have competed against the experienced players [in the IPL]. That’s a good sign for us going forward.
On whether in-form Owais Shah and Brad Hodge should be promoted higher up the order
We have specific roles for our overseas players. We recognise Hodge as an extremely good finisher under pressure and [for] getting those crucial runs for us batting first. It’s not going to happen often that he gets only 10 balls to face, as it happened in the last game against KKR. Sometimes, it’s just how the game pans out. On all-rounder Kevon Cooper’s injury
We’ll take a call on him tomorrow. He’s a very exciting young kid in T20 cricket. He played three games and developed a swollen knee. We didn’t want to risk him in this long tournament. We have our fingers crossed. On whether they would look to include either of S Sreesanth and Shaun Tait in the team
We’d have loved to play Sreesanth, but unfortunately he’s injured. In the auction for this season, we had recognised that we were short of an Indian international bowler and Sree was picked specifically to fill that space. But unfortunately, he hasn’t yet recovered from his injury and probably will not be available for the next two-three weeks. That’s a bit of a blow.
With Shaun, again, he’s having a couple of injury issues. But with him it’s more about maintaining the balance of the team in terms of four overseas players. He’s always an exciting option to have. The good thing for us is that all the overseas players we’ve featured so far have performed well in these four games. Hopefully, they’ll keep doing that. On facing a strong team like RCB in their own backyard
We know RCB are a very formidable team. But we believe that if we play to our potential, we are capable of beating any team on a given day. All I want from the players is to play tough cricket and enjoy it. I expect high level of energy and commitment on the field, and I’m very pleased with how all the guys have performed in the last four matches.