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In their first home game of the season the Delhi Daredevils will be facing off against the Rajasthan Royals at the Feroz Shah Kotla in the first afternoon game of the Indian Premier League 2013.
After a heartbreaking loss to defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders in the tournament opener the Daredevils will be looking to open their account in the points table. However the side is fraught with injuries to key players like Virender Sehwag and Kevin Pietersen, both of who will be unavailable for the game against the Royals’ as well. Speaking about Sehwag’s injury status, David Warner told the media, “Viru is not playing tomorrow. He is getting a lot of physio treatment but he has improved a lot from the last time.”
“We have got a lot of injuries (to players) but we have got a very good team on the park. I think that other night we lost too many wickets playing some silly shots. Hopefully we can improve on that and some missed chances in the field as well. Lot of balls went through our hands, we have to improve on that. We have got to play to our plan, come out and bat, bowl and field as well as we can and win the game.”
While talking about negotiating spin bowling Warner said, “Instead of playing the shot we got caught at the crease and that’s what happens in cricket. Hopefully we can improve as a team tomorrow and put some more runs on the board if we bat first and if we bowl first we can chase down as a batting unit.”
Asked about the increased responsibility in absence of the likes of Sehwag, Warner stated, “There is lot of responsibility on every person in the batting line-up. We all have to score runs. It is not about any individual players, we do have a lot of fantastic players in the side. But it is important for one of us guys to step up and get in the lime light. Hopefully one of our top four can score big runs throughout the tournament and that is the key to success of a batting unit.”
“For me it is to get us off to a good start and then try to get to the last five overs and that’s the responsibility I have with lot of the players here.” Emphasising on the role of the top-order and the significance of one of them seeing the team through the end he said, “It is our goal that one off the top four to be there till the end whether it is 70 off 50 balls or whether in the last over you are 100 off 60 balls we need someone in the top four to be there till the end.”
Asked if fielding was also a cause for concern, Warner said, “It is not a concern at all. I think we are all capable of fielding the ball. When a bowler bowls an over, a good over and if the ball comes to him he is going to pick it up but sometimes if he doesn’t bowl a good over and he might fumble it (while collecting the ball) because it is in the mind. It is all in the mind. We are all good fielders we have seen people like Irfan (Pathan) and Umesh (Yadav) and (Shahbaz) Nadeem, they have all got good hands and that’s what you need in this game. The other night was just a bad night for us in the field and we will improve on that.”
The Delhi Daredevils, who lost the opening fixture of Pepsi IPL 2013 to defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders, will be hoping for a quick turnaround of fortunes when they take on the Rajasthan Royals in Match 4 of Pepsi IPL 2013.
The Rajasthan Royals won the inaugural edition of the IPL, but haven’t been able to reproduce that form in four seasons since, struggling to even finish among the top four teams. However, like their performance in the inaugural season, they punched above their weight for a majority of the last season before they lost a few crucial games towards the end of the league phase. They will be keen to bring in the consistency factor to their game and go the distance this time around.
The Daredevils, sans the dashing Virender Sehwag in their line-up, looked out of sorts and lacked the firepower in the opening game managing only 128 runs on a slow Eden Gardens track. They will hope to put in a much improved performance, given they will be playing in their own backyard and hope to finish the match with their first points on the board.
Saturday, March 6, 2013, 4 p.m
Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, Delhi
Delhi Daredevils will look for big runs from their top four. Virender Sehwag, whose participation in this match isn’t certain, David Warner, Mahela Jayawardene and Unmukt Chand make for a formidable top four. Playing in their own backyard, the Daredevils will be hoping the batsmen can pile on the runs and then strangle the opponents as the wicket slows down as the match progresses.
Ajinkya Rahane was the find of the season for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2012. The Mumbai-lad reinvented himself and under the leadership of Rahul Dravid and played some breathtaking and unorthodox strokes – which one wouldn’t previously associate with the technically-correct top-order batsman. The 24-year old, who was recently handed his India cap, will look to develop further this season. The team will be missing the services of Shane Watson in this match and therefore a lot will be expected from the skipper Rahul Dravid and the experienced Brad Hodge.
The Delhi Daredevils start favourites in this match given they have a 6-4 win-loss record against the Rajasthan Royals. The Daredevils will be looking to make it a hat-trick of wins against the Rajasthan Royals after they won both the fixtures last season.
Brad Hodge, with 5274 runs in 179 matches, is the leading run-getter in Twenty20 cricket.
In less than 48 hours after this match (April 8, 2013), the Rajasthan Royals will square off against the defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. The Delhi Daredevils meanwhile will next be seen in action in Mumbai when they take on the Mumbai Indians on April 9.