Can PWI lift their game against batting champs DD?
By Arun Gopalakishnan
Mumbai 20 April 2012
After an impressive win over Deccan Chargers in their previous match, Delhi Daredevils will now host Pune Warriors India in Match 27 of DLF IPL 2012.
Despite losing most of their formidable batting line-up for next to nothing, Delhi Daredevils powered home in the match against the Deccan Chargers thanks to Kevin Pietersen’s brilliant century. Virender Sehwag’s boys are on a roll now; they’ve won their last three matches and will want to keep their home record this season intact.
Pune Warriors India dominated most parts of their last two matches, only to be pipped at the post. An AB de Villiers special snatched away what was a match-in-the-kitty at Bangalore. In the away fixture against the Chennai Super Kings, Sourav Ganguly’s men dominated for 36 overs, but were outsmarted by the defending champions in the last two overs of both innings.
Saturday, April 21, 2011, 08:00 p.m.
Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, Delhi
With a batting line-up that has names such as Virender Sehwag, Kevin Pietersen, Mahela Jayawardene and Ross Taylor, it would be very difficult to pick out just one or two stars. Each player is capable of winning a match single-handedly on his day. However, a lot of the focus will be on Pietersen after his outstanding century in the last match.
On the bowling front, while DD have experienced players like Morne Morkel and Irfan Pathan, the one who has impressed most is left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem. Relatively unknown until this season, Nadeem has turned in four match-winning spells in five matches and has been the best spin bowler on show this season. Keep an eye on him as he will come up against attacking batsmen, including two left-handers, in the Pune Warriors India line-up.
For Pune Warriors India to succeed, they need their openers to fire. Robin Uthappa and Jesse Ryder have looked in good nick, but their lack of consistency has hurt their team badly.
Look out for a change in PWI’s batting order too. Steve Smith and Angelo Mathews are under-utilised batting at Nos. 6 and 7. Their team would perhaps be better served if one of them were moved up the order.
Rahul Sharma recovered well from the mauling he received at the hands of RCB’s Chris Gayle and turned in an economic spell against the Chennai Super Kings. It will be interesting to see if he can keep the likes of Pietersen, Jayawardene and Taylor at bay.
In a high-scoring match at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai last season, Delhi Daredevils edged past the Pune Warriors India. Needing to score 188, Virender Sehwag’s team got past the finish line in the last over losing seven wickets in the process.
The only other meeting between these two teams, in IPL 2011 – at the Feroz Shah Kotla – had to be abandoned midway through the first innings because of rain.
• Delhi Daredevils have lost the fewest wickets amongst all the teams in IPL 2012; they’ve only lost 19 wickets in five matches.
• Delhi Daredevils have the best economy rate of the nine teams in IPL 2012; their overall economy rate this season has been 6.71.
• Delhi Daredevils have so far run nine batsmen out this season – the most by any team in IPL 2012.
The two teams will be seen in action next when Pune Warriors India host Delhi Daredevils at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in Pune on April 24.