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Delhi Daredevils coach says CSK and MI are favourites
By IPL Staff
Kolkata 04 April 2012
Delhi Daredevils are set to play their first match of DLF IPL 2012 against local favourites Kolkata Knight Riders. The team has a whole new look to it this season, but with a number of their big stars still on international duty, much of the burden of the team’s success in the initial stages of the tournament will fall mostly on Virender Sehwag.
DD head coach Eric Simmons caught up with the media to answer all queries regarding team preparations ahead of the start of the 2012 campaign. Excerpts from the press conference:
On their opponents, the Kolkata Knight Riders
If you look at all the sides in the IPL, there are few teams who are favourites. Every team has got match-winners. The nature of T20 cricket is if a match-winner plays [the whole game] out then he can solely win the game for his team. They [KKR] are a well-balanced side. They are certainly looking to do well this year. On the favourites before the start of the tournament
Chennai looked to have strengthened their side with the inclusion of Ravindra Jadeja. They have done well in all the IPLs. Mumbai too have strengthened their side with their new acquisitions like Pragyan Ojha. At the outset, the two sides stand out as the favourites for the balance and depth of their squads. On the absence of the international names in the DD squad currently
We expected Ross [Taylor] to be here as we knew that Mahela [Jayawardene] and [Kevin] Pietersen would not be available. But he was hit by one of the teammates [Morne Morkel]. That's the nature of the IPL. You have to chart your ways through. It's disappointing though. On the key to winning the IPL
The IPL is not a sprint. It's like a marathon in some respects. You have to peak at the right time. I hope that's going to happen.
On DD’s spin attack
The only thing we lack is lack is a big name; someone with reputation. We have worked really hard with the players we got. We have got some exciting guys. We have got Roelf van der Merwe, obviously with some international experience. He is key for us. We have got [Shahbaz] Nadeem and [Pawan] Negi. There are few ideas and thoughts, which we would like to use in our spin department to surprise the teams. I think we have a capable bunch of spinners. On battles within the battle – Yusuf vs Irfan and Gambhir vs Sehwag
I think IPL is an incredible tournament; an exciting place to play cricket, exactly for those reasons. You have brothers [playing] against each other; great friends in Gauti [Gautam Gambhir] and Viru [Virender Sehwag] in opposite camps. [It’s] a great place to nurture young cricketers.
The magnificent Eden Gardens in Kolkata will play host to Match 2 of IPL 2012 featuring hosts Kolkata Knight Riders and the Delhi Daredevils. KKR have had a mixed run in the IPL so far and will start their 2012 campaign with the hope of bettering their performance in the previous seasons. Delhi Daredevils, on the other hand, will look to start off on a high, setting the tone for a successful season; they have never progressed beyond the semi-final stage of the IPL. When
Thursday, April 5, 2011, 08:00 p.m.
Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Keep your eyes on Delhi and India’s opening pair of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, who will be wearing different jerseys in this game. 2012 hasn’t been the greatest of years for the opening duo; the IPL gives them the chance to go out and express themselves – they could be doubly hungry and doubly dangerous.
Also look out for the big-hitting Yusuf Pathan and Jacques Kallis in the KKR line-up. The former holds the record for scoring the fastest hundred in the IPL (in 37 balls against Mumbai Indians) and is capable of winning matches single-handedly – even from dire situations. Kallis, 36-years-old now, was in outstanding form in IPL 2011, and as always, he will be looking at overcoming the challenges thrown at him.
Both Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders have shared honours in the six previous meetings between them. KKR will believe they hold the edge over their opponents given they’ve won their last two matches against DD. Trivia
• Kolkata Knight Riders have beaten the Delhi Daredevils both times they’ve faced them at the Eden Gardens.
• Kolkata Knight Riders’ Yusuf Pathan is among the top three six-hitters in the IPL. He has so far hit 74 sixes in 58 matches in four editions of the IPL.
• Kolkata Knight Riders’ Shakib-al-Hasan won the Player-of-the-Tournament award in the recently concluded Asia Cup.
Post this fixture, Delhi Daredevils travel down south to take on Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on April 7, while the Kolkata Knight Riders will be seen in action the following day when they take on the Rajasthan Royals at Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.