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Delhi Daredevils and Chennai Super Kings, who have been at the receiving ends recently in their respective fixtures, feature in Match 24 of the Pepsi IPL 2013.
The Delhi Daredevils, who topped the table last season and were considered among the top contenders for the title prior to the start of the season, lie at the floor of the points table, having lost all their five matches. The team seems to be steadily and surely improving but the results don’t seem to be going their way.
In their last outing, they managed to claw their way back into the match but Royal Challengers Bangalore edged past them in the Super Over. On a positive note, the Daredevils will realise they still have six home fixtures remaining and if they win each one of those they will be well placed to compete for a place in the top four teams.
The Chennai Super Kings meanwhile are coming off a 24-run defeat, suffered at the hands of Pune Warriors India. Chasing a competitive 160, CSK struggled for momentum and only managed 135 in their 20 overs. The two-time champions generally play well at home, but they’ve lost two of their three home matches this season and will be keen to make up for those defeats on the road.
Thursday, April 18, 2013, 8 p.m
Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, Delhi
In David Warner, Virender Sehwag and Mahela Jayawardene, the Delhi Daredevils have a solid top-order. However, the team has struggled because the three are yet to fire in unison. On the day the trio gets their act together, there can be only one winner and Daredevils supporters will be hoping for that to happen sooner than expected.
CSK sorely missed the ever-reliable Michael Hussey in the previous match against the Pune Warriors. In the 20-over format it is important for teams to get off to a solid start and Michael Hussey’s presence at the top of the order gives CSK that reassurance. With Suresh Raina yet to make a substantial contribution, the burden falls on the shoulders of skipper MS Dhoni in the middle order.
MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings have won six of their ten contests against the Delhi Daredevils. Both teams were tied at two matches apiece after the first two seasons of the IPL. However since then CSK have held the upper hand winning four of the six matches.
Both teams held their home matches last season, but CSK got the better of DD in the Qualifier 2 which eliminated the Daredevils from the race to the final.
Chennai Super Kings’ Dirk Nannes needs three more wickets to become the top wicket-taker in the Twenty20 format. He has 214 wickets and three wickets will propel him ahead of Alfonso Thomas, who has 216 wickets in this format.
The Chennai Super Kings’ average score in the Power Play is 36 – that’s the lowest among all teams this season.
The Delhi Daredevils will stay put at home and play the second of their three back-to-back home matches against the Mumbai Indians on April 21. The Chennai Super Kings meanwhile head to Kolkata after this match on April 20.
Here is a side that is enjoying success. Here is a side that is no longer about individual performances. The Mumbai Indians are on a roll having won three out of the four matches played so far. Out of those three wins, two have been comprehensive victories in their own backyard. Sachin Tendulkar displayed his lethal self in the previous game and the young duo of Dinesh Karthik and Rohit Sharma yet again showed they were ‘responsibility ready’ when the chips were down.
Not surprisingly Mumbai Indians’ coach John Wright is happy with the team’s performance. “We have been quite happy with our side. We lost the first game narrowly and have dominated in the last two games. To be honest we have a balanced side, the nature of T20 is that generally you have one or two dominant performances from either side and no matter how you match up on paper, it depends how we fare on match day. We know we have got match winners and so do our opposition. It will be an even contest. said Wright
Talking about their opposition, Wright was not willing to take the Royals lightly at home. The respect for the opposition came from Wright as he said, “I think they are a good side. They are playing at home and you have got to respect that. I think it will be a tough game. We are playing good cricket, but it is so important to take one game at a time. I think we have to prepare well for tomorrow and I believe it will be a tough match.”
Mumbai Indians’ last two games were at home that were big scoring games where teams got to 150 plus scores on both occasions. Now, facing the Royals at home, the wickets and the conditions will be different and adapting to them will be a big challenge according to Wright. “It looks a good wicket, perhaps a little movement in it early maybe. But having looked at the highlights of the previous match there were a lot of wickets that fell early in the match. They didn’t have a lot to do with the wicket; but it looks a good batting track. The boundaries are wide in this stadium which is a different challenge for us. Running between the wickets and fielding and adapting well here will be the key.”
Also, in the games so far, a lot has been spoken about the experienced duo of Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting not able to fire with all guns blazing. Wright defended the senior pros saying they are still potential match winners for the side. “Sachin played really well in the last match and has been run out twice. Ricky is leading the side in a fantastic fashion and we know that form is temporary and class is permanent. They both are a big part of us. We do not look at averages and they are match winners and on their day they can go on and win the game for us.”