New Delhi: Their confidence severely dented after suffering six consecutive defeats, a struggling Delhi Daredevils have no more room for errors and would desperately need a win against an inconsistent but star-studded Mumbai Indians on Sunday to keep their outside chances alive in the ongoing Pepsi IPL.
Since the start of IPL 6, Daredevils' campaign failed to take off as they suffered one defeat after another.
For the Daredevils, the table-toppers of the league phase last season, the end is approaching fast as they have arrived at a stage from where they have to win all their remaining matches, besides praying for favours from other teams to nurture any hopes of qualifying for the play-offs, which at the moment looks extremely bleak though still not impossible.
The Daredevils, who suffered a morale-shattering 86-run loss to Chennai Super Kings at their home ground in their last match, would be looking for inspiration to turn the tables around.
Chasing Chennai's challenging 169 for four, the Delhi outfit folded out for a paltry 83 in 17.3 overs in their last outing.
Languishing at the bottom of the table, the Daredevils need nothing less than a miracle to turn things around in their favour and stay afloat in the championship.
The Daredevils have been hit hard by the failure of their batting department. The celebrated names like Virender Sehwag, David Warner and captain Mahela Jayawardene have failed miserably upfront.
Instead of laying ideal launch-pads for setting up the platform for a big score, they have struggled, which had put pressure on their relatively inexperienced middle-order.
Sehwag, who is at the lowest ebb of his career, hasn't been able to live up to his reputation. He completely looked off-colour in the matches he played so far after having missed the initial part of the competition due to a bout of back spasms.
The likes of Jeevan Mendis, Johan Botha and Andre Russell are good all-rounders but have failed to cope up with the constant pressure. Young wicketkeeper Kedar Jadhav and Manprit Juneja have managed to salvage a bit of respect with substantial contributions with the bat, but lacked support.
To add to it, the Daredevils have also been hit hard by the absence of Kevin Pietersen and New Zealander Jesse Ryder, who have been ruled out of this year's IPL due to injuries.
The Daredevils' bowlers are no better as they have also been inconsistent in the tournament so far. The likes of Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav, Irfan Pathan and Shahbaz Nadeem have performed only in patches.
On the other hand, having won three of their five games, Mumbai Indians are much better placed than their opponents. They presently occupy the fifth spot in the table with six points.
From its start, Mumbai are underachievers in the Twenty20 league. Despite having big stars in their ranks, they have never been able to convert the early promise into a title win. They finished runners-up in 2010, losing to Chennai Super Kings in the final.
Mumbai too would be low on confidence ahead of Sunday's encounter having suffering a humiliating 87-run loss at the hands of underdogs Rajasthan Royals in their last game.
Chasing an imposing 180-run target, Mumbai's famed batting line-up came a cropper and were bowled out for 92 by Rajasthan.
Mumbai's lavish spending at the players' auction has ensured that they have greats like Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting up their ranks. The likes of Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga and Rohit Sharma only add to the outfit's strength.
But coming into Sunday's match, Mumbai would slightly worry about the form of their two greats -- Tendulkar and skipper Ponting, who have so far failed to give a decent to MI's innings.
Mumbai's million-dollar spending on Australian Glen Maxwell defies logic as he is yet to get a game in IPL 6.
Mumbai have been riding on wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik, who is presently second in the highest run-scorers list with 254 runs.
Rohit, too, is in good nick but has been a little inconsistent. He has so far amassed 157 runs with 74 being his highest.
With Malinga joining the squad, Mumbai's bowling wears a lethal look. Even though they have struggled against Rajasthan the other day, the likes of Mitchell Johnson, Pragyan Ojha, Harbhajan Singh and Pollard give them the variety and the options on any surface.
Delhi Daredevils: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Ajit Agarkar, Andre Russell, Arisht Singhvi, Ashish Nehra, CM 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.
Mumbai Indians: Ricky Ponting (captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Dinesh Karthik, Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Harbhajan Singh, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell Johnson Pragyan Ojha, Rishi Dhawan, Glenn Maxwell, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jaspreet Bumrah, Akshar Patel, Jalaj Saxena, Abu Nechim Ahmed, Aditya Tare, Aiden Blizzard, Amitoze Singh, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dwayne Smith, Jacob Oram, James Franklin, Javed Khan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Phil Hughes, Pawan Suyal, Surya Kumar Yadav, Sushant Marathe.