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After fulfilling their national commitments, Mahela Jayawadene and Kevin Pietersen are all set to join the Delhi Daredevils squad for IPL 2012. An official press release mentioned that Delhi Daredevils’ vice-captain Jayawardene and explosive Pietersen arrived from Colombo today, a day after playing in the Test series in Sri Lanka in which they headed the batting averages for Sri Lanka and England respectively.
“I am looking forward to a good season with the team,” Jayawardene told delhidaredevils.com. “It will be wonderful working with some wonderful cricketers with so much collective experience. T. A. Sekar [the team mentor] had been telling me for a while before the auction that he was keen for me to turn out for Delhi Daredevils. I am hoping to do my best.
“I know the Delhi Daredevils fans would have liked the Colombo Test to end in three or four days so that we could play last night’s game against Royal Challengers Bangalore. But KP [Pietersen] and I had other ideas,” he said, with his trademark smile.
Jayawardene and Pietersen both got hundreds in the first innings of that Test match.
Pietersen, who was with Jayawardene at the Panasonic Cheer-a-thon at Select City Walk here, told delhidaredevils.com that he is eager to contribute to the Delhi Daredevils. “I know we have a good unit, and am happy that we got off to a good start in Kolkata,” he said. “I am looking forward to spending some time with young cricketers in Delhi.”
Pietersen was also happy to hear that pacer Umesh Yadav will be available for selection for the April 10 game against the Chennai Super Kings at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium. Yadav went off the field without being able to begin his third over against the Royal Challengers Bangalore because of a bout of cramps.
A contest between two teams who lost their most recent matches. Deccan Chargers got their IPL 2012 campaign off to a poor start as they were handed a sound thrashing by defending champions Chennai Super Kings. Mumbai Indians, meanwhile, won their opening fixture against CSK, but were outsmarted by neighbours Pune Warriors India in their second match.
Monday, April 9, 2011, 08:00 p.m.
ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam
Deccan Chargers are likely to be boosted by the arrival of skipper Kumar Sangakkara. The Chargers missed him dearly in their opening fixture against the Chennai Super Kings – both for his leadership and for the runs he can contribute. The 34-year-old has been in prolific form in international cricket in 2012 and will want to lead from the front.
Look out for the mean machine Dale Steyn too. The top-ranked bowler in Test cricket had an impressive outing in DC’s opening match; he would want to lift the inexperienced bowling line-up with consistent performances through the season.
In the MI colours, look out for the exciting Richard Levi (who top-scored in MI’s opening match before being dismissed for a second-ball duck in the next match), and for his opening partner Sachin Tendulkar (who is likely to return after having missed the previous match due to injury).
The immensely talented and highly-rated Rohit Sharma has been disappointing in the two knocks so far. Expect some fireworks from the youngster as he stakes a claim for a regular spot in the national side. Previous Meetings
There’s nothing that separates the two teams on the basis of their previous meetings. Deccan Chargers and Mumbai Indians have so far clashed eight times, and both teams have won four matches apiece. In the last season, both teams lost their home fixtures but went on to win their away matches.
• Lasith Malinga went past RP Singh’s tally of 64 wickets to become the leading wicket-taker in the IPL in the previous match. There’s a chance for Pragyan Ojha to top the list in this match; he needs two more wickets to equal Malinga’s tally of 65 wickets and three more to top the list.
• An incredible 55.3% of Lasith Malinga’s wickets in the IPL have been “Bowled” dismissals. He’s bowled 36 batsmen in the IPL so far. What next?
Both teams will clash with the Rajasthan Royals in their next fixtures respectively. While Deccan Chargers have the opportunity to recharge before the April 17 fixture in Jaipur, Mumbai Indians will have to rush back home to host Rahul Dravid’s boys on April 11.