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Delhi Daredevils will clash with the Rajasthan Royals in Match 23 of Pepsi IPL 2014.
With wins against the Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians, DD finished the UAE leg of Pepsi IPL 2014 with four points from five matches. The Rajasthan Royals, meanwhile, have three wins under their belt – including their thrilling win in the tied match against the Kolkata Knight Riders (which was decided by a boundary count after the Super Over also ended in a tie) in their final outing in the UAE.
The Delhi Daredevils will have had enough time to acclimatize to the change of conditions. They played their last match of the UAE leg of Pepsi IPL 2014 on April 27 and have had five days since to return home, recharge their batteries and get used to the conditions back home.
Saturday, May 3, 2014, 8 pm IST
Ferozeshah Kotla, Delhi The Protagonists
Quinton de Kock, Murali Vijay, JP Duminy, Kevin Pietersen and Dinesh Karthik; how’s that for a batting line-up? Since becoming an opening pair, de Kock and Vijay have seen DD off to good starts. That has given the likes of Duminy, Pietersen and Karthik the license to play their shots rather than spend time building the platform early on. Duminy has been DD’s impact player so far this season and a lot will be expected from him yet again. DD fans will be hoping that skipper Kevin Pietersen would have shrugged off the rustiness caused by the injury lay-off during these last five days. At his best, expect him to make a mark in the tournament.
The two central characters in the Rajasthan Royals’ batting plans are opener Ajinkya Rahane and skipper Shane Watson. Despite having varying methods – Rahane is classical and picks up plenty of runs by caressing the ball, whereas Watson can muscle the ball and demolish bowling attacks – both batsmen play very important roles in the RR line-up.
Notes from previous match
Delhi Daredevils v Mumbai Indians: DD coach Gary Kirsten will be extremely happy at the intensity of his team, especially the manner in which they sustained pressure on the MI top order and picked up wickets at regular intervals. Skipper Kevin Pietersen too had a decent outing and remained unbeaten on 26 (off 18 balls), which is sure to serve as a huge confidence-booster to him. Rajasthan Royals v Kolkata Knight Riders: Several positives emerged from RR’s match against KKR. First up, the team’s “never give up” spirit came to the fore. Despite KKR doing well during the run-chase, and needing 16 from the final two overs with six wickets in hand, RR believed they could win. The team also showed good match awareness in the Super Over, which is very crucial in this format of the game where everything happens so quickly and all players need to be in the thick of things. Previous Meetings
Where history between the Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals is concerned, the honours are split right down the middle. Both teams have won six matches apiece from a total of 12 meetings. Last season, the Rajasthan Royals prevailed in both the games – first getting the better of DD at the Ferozeshah Kotla, and then comfortably chasing down 154 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur to win by nine wickets.
Delhi Daredevils haven’t won a toss so far this season. Dinesh Karthik didn’t win a toss in the three matches he captained at the start of the season, and Kevin Pietersen didn’t get lucky with the coin in the two games he led DD.
Both teams will be seen in action next on May 5. While the Chennai Super Kings will visit the national capital to take on the Delhi Daredevils, the Rajasthan Royals head to their home venue – Ahmedabad – to take on the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Mumbai Indians entered Pepsi IPL 2014 with a huge amount of expectation that comes with being the defending champions. And so far, they have failed miserably to live up to it, losing all five games in the UAE.
Now, they attempt to start afresh, with their first game of the season, at the Wankhede Stadium, against Kings XI Punjab. While the journey so far has been arduous and joyless, skipper, Rohit Sharma, hasn’t given up hopes of a comeback.
“We all know it has been a disappointing start. Certain things we did not do right,” Rohit said on the eve of the match. “We took each game at a time and not looked too far ahead. We committed a lot of mistakes right from the first game against Kolkata (Knight Riders) till the last game against Sunrisers (Hyderabad) and kept repeating them.
“That can happen, it’s a new team. It’s a different challenge now. We have come to Mumbai now and we know the conditions here. It’s a fortress. Last year, we won eight out of eight (here). We will try and keep that record intact. It will be a challenge as we will be playing the table toppers. The crowd here is very enthusiastic. It will be an extra advantage for us,” Rohit said.
Admitting that batting let the team down in the UAE leg, Rohit hoped familiar conditions of their home ground will help their batsmen in getting back among runs.
“Batting has not been up to the mark. We are disappointed the way we batted. Shot selection wasn’t that great. We have come to familiar conditions and all our batsmen know how to bat on this wicket and I hope for a better batting performance from all our batters.
“All I can ask my team members is not to repeat the same mistakes of the last five games. If we keep doing the right things, I am sure things will fall in place. The last game, we came pretty close to victory, but unfortunately, it wasn’t our day. We have got the right combination, and the players; only thing is we are not executing our plans. Tomorrow will be a critical game, which we have to win,” the MI skipper said.
The first goal of all IPL teams is to make the top four. And despite their horror start, Rohit believes his team can still make it to the Playoffs.
“We just have to win eight games out of nine (to qualify). It will be a difficult task, but as I said, we don’t want to think too far ahead. Tomorrow is an important game. We want to win that and then think about the next game. That will be our strategy.”