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The Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore open their Pepsi IPL 2014 campaign by clashing against each other in Match 2 of the season.
The Delhi Daredevils finished at the floor of the table last season and come into this tournament as a completely revamped outfit. The franchise owners will be hoping this overhaul results in a positive change of fortunes.
RCB have been a hugely entertaining side and play an energetic and exciting brand of cricket. However, they have failed to capitalize on a handful of critical moments and as a result have narrowly missed out on Playoff berths the last couple of seasons. Apart from comprising some aggressive batsmen who have caused a lot of damage around the world, the team has some very experienced hands in the bowling department and will be hoping to go the distance this time around.
Thursday, April 17, 2014, 8 pm IST
Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah
One can expect plenty of fireworks in this match, for you will possibly not see a greater number of destructive batsmen in one match.
The Delhi Daredevils suffered a body blow on the eve of the match when skipper Kevin Pietersen was ruled out because of an injury to his finger. However, in Ross Taylor, JP Duminy, Murali Vijay and Dinesh Karthik they have players who have shown that they are capable of inflicting lots of damage at the international level. DD will also expect runs from the two Tiwary’s – Manoj and Saurabh – as well as from the youngsters – Quinton de Kock and Kedar Jadhav.
RCB have a daunting batting line-up – perhaps the most formidable looking one in the competition – Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli and the recently-acquired million-dollar man, Yuvraj Singh. With such a line-up, and the likes of Albie Morkel for support, the team should back itself to chase down any kind of target or post enough runs on the board to put the target beyond the reach of the opposition.
Numbers certainly indicate that Royal Challengers Bangalore hold an edge in their contests against the Delhi Daredevils. Not only do they have a 6-5 win-loss record against DD, but they have won each of their last five contests.
On both occasions that these teams met last season, RCB held their nerves to edge past their opponents. In the first meeting in Bengaluru, RCB prevailed in the Super Over after both teams had finished with the same number of runs at the end of regulation time. In the subsequent outing in Delhi, RCB edged home by four runs despite posting 183 runs on the board.
RCB have five batsmen in their line-up who have struck more than 100 sixes in T20 cricket. For the record, there are only 46 players who have hit 100 or more sixes in T20 cricket around the world.
RCB’s Chris Gayle holds the record for scoring the most runs in T20 cricket (5992), scoring the most centuries in the format (11) and hitting the most sixes in the 20-over format (523). His teammate Albie Morkel is the most capped player in the T20 format with 260 total appearances.
This match will feature the two most expensive players purchased at the 2014 IPL Player Auction. The Royal Challengers Bangalore signed Yuvraj Singh for INR 14 Crores, while the Delhi Daredevils bought Dinesh Karthik for INR 12.5 Crores.
Dinesh Karthik has an impressive record as captain in T20 cricket; of the 15 matches he has captained, his team has gone on to win 12.
Both teams will be seen in action next on April 19. Virat Kohli and co. will clash with the defending champions, Mumbai Indians, in the 4pm game, while the Delhi Daredevils will take on the Kolkata Knight Riders later in the evening.
Vice-captain Dinesh Karthik to lead the side in his absence
By IPL Staff
Dubai 16 April 2014
Delhi Daredevils captain Kevin Pietersen will miss the side’s opening game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday. Pietersen is believed to have injured his finger during a practice drill and will be forced to watch the game from the sidelines. “He did not play in the practice match and he won’t be considered for tomorrow’s game. Dinesh Karthik will captain the side,” Delhi Daredevils’ assistant coach, Eric Simmons, confirmed.
“It is a setback for us because he is an important player in our setup. It is a bit of a jolt for us, but what we did well during the auction was that we made sure that we had covered all the areas. I think we have got ample replacements about who we can consider during such situations, and that was one of the strengths of the squad that we have put together,” he added.
Not just the team, but even Pietersen was disappointed on missing out since he has been looking forward to playing for a long time now. “It is tough for KP himself. He is someone who is very passionate. Even though he has not been able to take much part in the practice sessions, he has been there for all of them. He is enthusiastic about his new role for the Delhi Daredevils this year, and it is disappointing for him as much as it is for us,” Simmons said.
When asked about the time Pietersen would take to recover and if he has been going through the practice drills, Simmons said, “We would take it one game at a time and see how Pietersen progresses each morning. He has been doing some work with the bat – some drills more than anything else, but nothing too strenuous with the bat.”
Pietersen’s absence will be felt, but Simmons was of the view that he had a bigger role in the Daredevils setup. “He has been with us over the last two IPL seasons and has been an amazing influence. He has been an inspiration for a lot of players in the team, and the confidence he passes on to others is infectious. Not just for the runs, but KP has played a major role for us and it has been exactly the same this time around. The relationship that he has with the players has a very positive influence on the team from a cricketing perspective and the team culture.”
That aside, the team has a match to play and it will be crucial for them to start off on a positive note. And coach Simmons was happy with his team’s preparations leading up to the first game.
“We were very pleased with the practice match the other day. We had some good learning from it, which is important from the team’s perspective to get a sense of the new unit. Hopefully, that is going to give us some momentum going into the first few matches. I think the team that arrives back in India with a healthy win record in this portion will have some momentum going into India.”
Simmons also felt that the spinners will play a vital role in the IPL. “The spinners play a crucial role in the IPL in India and it will be no different here. We have got quality spinners in our side like Rahul Sharma and an excellent left arm spinner in Shahbaz Nadeem. We also have JP Duminy who can bowl some off-spin for us. When KP gets fit, his bowling will also come in handy because he has an ability to get spin and bounce. I have a very simple game plan about spinners in T20 cricket and I would like to believe it has worked successfully in the past and we won’t deviate from that.”