It has been a contrasting start for the two teams which play today. Delhi Daredevils take on the Deccan Chargers in the afternoon game and while the former have sped away with three victories in their four games, the latter have yet to notch up their first.
While Chargers coach Darren Lehman will be scratching his bald head in disbelief, two of their three defeats have come in the final over. Rohit Sharma played a gem to lead the Mumbai Indians to a win in Deccan's second game while Brad Hodge led the way to a smashing Rajasthan victory last match.
Daredevils need to guard against complacency
It was more of the opposition snatching a win from the jaws of a defeat than the Chargers allowing them to do so - how else can you explain a bowler of the calibre of Dale Steyn go for as much as he did against the Rajasthan Royals? Purely brilliant batting on a pitch tailor-made for this format of the game.
The Daredevils have been obviously been the revelation of the tournament, banking on their plethora of pace bowling options. Morne Morkel is a class of his own but unlike some of the other sides, he has enough backup in the form of the young, rising talent of Umesh Yadav and the swing and subtle variations of Irfan Pathan.
I quite liked the way Shahbaz Nadeem bowled at the Mumbai Indians, ostensibly brought on to open the bowling attack to test the Mumbai Indians’ two relatively inexperienced openers from overseas. The tactic worked wonders and before the late-comers had even occupied their seats, Delhi had their opponents two down.
What the Daredevils will now hope is for their batsmen to get used to the pitch at Kotla, which I believe could play a tad slower than some of the others in the country.
In the other game of the evening, Chennai Super Kings have the chance to avenge their defeat of the Pune Warriors in their previous game. Jesse Ryder was superb in that game while Steven Smith brought the team home with his spanking cameo at the end.
Smith is a much improved cricketer and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has done a lot of work on his batting. He hasn’t bowled too much in the tournament so far, but his fielding has been a standout and that makes him a very valuable player to have in the 11.
The Super Kings have been rather sluggish to get away and can hardly afford to lose another one here. They found it difficult to get away from the Pune Warriors in their previous game with the bat and then ran against a determined Ryder and superb Smith.
My guess is that Doug Bollinger could get another chance to play while the batting at the top of the innings may see a change. Of course MS Dhoni is that sort of a captain who can upset all predictions and back all those who are not performing!