The six-wicket defeat in their previous encounter against Delhi Daredevils not only snapped Deccan Chargers’ winning spree but also triggered a mid-event slump and the Hyderabad outfit would be gunning for revenge when the teams meet again in a potential Indian Premier League humdinger here on Wednesday.
Having swept aside Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings with consummate ease, Adam Gilchrist’s men clearly looked the most high-flying squad before the Daredevils grounded them.
The six-wicket defeat with eight balls to spare not only snapped Deccan’s winning streak but also marked the start of a wretched stretch with three defeats on the trot.
They lost to Kings XI Punjab as well, sandwiched by the wins against Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals, and with the race for the semifinal berths hotting up, Gilchrist and his men simply cannot afford to slip.
Meanwhile, if revenge would be on Deccan’s agenda, the Daredevils would hope their winning streak to continue as they plan to cement their place at the top of the points table.
Seven wins in nine outings, most of them comprehensive victories, speaks volumes of Delhi’s balance and this too at a time when regular skipper Virender Sehwag missed much of the latest action with a finger injury.
Stand-in skipper Gautam Gambhir hinted that Sehwag would be available for tomorrow’s match, which might cost in-form David Warner his place at the top of the batting order.
With AB de Villiers and Tillakaratne Dilshan in the middle order, Delhi’s batting might is beyond question while Dirk Nannes, Ashish Nehra and Amit Mishra’s wicket-taking ability lends perfect balance to the side.
In contrast, Deccan batting relies too much on Gilchrist and his opening partner Herschelle Gibbs even though Rohit Sharma has made handy contributions in most of their wins.
In their previous encounter, Nannes cheaply removed both Gilchrist and Gibbs to set the tone for Delhi’s facile victory and the team would expect the left-arm pacer to continue his rich vein of form that has reduced someone like Glenn McGrath to a bench-warmer.
Gilchrist, however, would take heart from last night’s victory against the Royals and expect his bowlers to replicate the same show against Delhi.
For the Chargers, RP Singh has donned the purple cap and is among the highest wicket-taker, while Chaminda Vaas proved on Monday that he still has some aces up his sleeves. In the spin department, Pragyan Ojha has been more than a handful, while Rohit’s part-time off-spin has been quite handy.