New Delhi: Winless Delhi Daredevils will have to pull something special out of their bag to beat Chennai Super Kings in an Indian Premier League match at the Ferozeshah Kotla here Thursday.
Delhi suffered a Super Over loss against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) Tuesday night - their fifth successive defeat in IPL-6. In fact, they are the only side yet to register a win in the competition, and going a bit further back they had lost their last two games in the IPL V too, to make it seven in a row.
Captain Mahela Jayawardene commended his team for fighting hard in Bangalore before admitting that they needed to play better for a positive result.
The team's chances depend a lot of on how Virender Sehwag and David Warner fare at the top. While Warner has been in decent from, the onus is on Virender Sehwag to come to the party. The dashing batsman played some of his trademark strokes in his 25 against RCB and he would want to make a statement by playing a big one in front the home crowd.
Jayawardene is another key player. The skipper has been amongst the runs but a better strike rate than 107 is likely to do more good for his team.
The Delhi attack, which looks formidable on paper, needs to deliver on the field. Barring left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, the likes of Umesh Yadav, Morne Morkel and Ashish Nehra have proved expensive.
Though Delhi lie at the bottom of the standings, the tournament remains wide open.
Two-time champions Chennai Super Kings, having a fifty percent record in four matches, find themselves in seventh place on the points table. There is no doubt they will be fired up to perform at Kotla after a stunning loss to Pune Warriors at home Monday night.
Chennai's openers too have not been consistent so far. Michael Hussey has been their most prolific batsman but did not feature against Pune with the management going for all-rounder Albie Morkel. His replacement at the top, Anirudha Srikkanth could only last two balls. Murali Vijay, on the other hand, has come good only once in four innings.
There is a likelihood of Faf du Plessis being available for the game. A back injury has kept the South African away from the action.
Another South African, Chris Morris has impressed with the ball but Mahendra Singh Dhoni would be expecting more from the other bowlers.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (c/wk), Srikkanth Anirudha Baba Aparajith, Ravichandran Ashwin, Subramaniam Badrinath, Dwayne Bravo, Akila Dananjaya, Faf du Plessis, Ben Hilfenhaus, Jason Holder, Michael Hussey, Imtiaz Ahmed, Ravindra Jadeja, Shadab Jakati, R Karthikeyan, Nuwan Kulasekara, Ben Laughlin, Ronit More, Albie Morkel, Chris Morris, Dirk Nannes, Suresh Raina, Ankit Rajpoot, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Vijay Shankar, Mohit Sharma, Murali Vijay.
Delhi Daredevils: Mahela Jayawardene (C), Ajit Agarkar, Andre Russell, Arisht Singhvi, Ashish Nehra, C M Gautam, David Warner,Gulam Bodi, Irfan Pathan, Jeevan Mendis, Johan Botha, Kedar Jadhav, Manpreet Juneja, Naman Ojha, Pawan Negi, Roelof van-der Morwe, Royston Dias, Siddharth Kaul, Sujit Nayak, Shahbaz Nadeem Umesh Yadav, Unmukt Chand, Venugopal Rao, Virender Sehwag and Yogesh Nagar.