On a roll with three successive victories, Delhi Daredevils will look to continue the winning momentum when they clash with second-placed Royal Challengers Bangalore in their Indian Premier League return-leg match in New Delhi on Sunday.
Delhi had bounced back in the tournament with a 17-run win over Bangalore on March 25 and then won two more matches to bring their campaign back on track. They currently lie third on the points table.
Delhi Daredevils’ batting prowess have been the talk of the town, especially after their last match against Rajasthan Royals where they benched players like AB de Villiers and Tillakaratane Dilshan and still went on to win the match comprehensibly.
David Warner has proved what he is capable of when he blasted the second century of IPL III against Kolkata Knight Riders and Dinesh Karthik also returned to form just when he butchered Rajasthan with a 38-ball 69 in their last match.
Gautam Gambhir also did the job in the last match and after being reprimanded for calling Rajasthan ordinary, the left-hander will want his bat to do the talking on Sunday.
In Virender Sehwag, Delhi have someone who can rip apart any bowling attack on his given day and Kedar Jadhav has also shown some spark.
Among the bowlers, Dirk Nannes’ injury has been a worry but his replacement Parvez Maharoof’s two wickets in the first over against Rajasthan showed what he can do with the new ball.
Moreover, Umesh Yadav, Pradeep Sangwan and Andrew McDonald have done their job pretty well for Delhi.
Bangalore, on the other hand, were flying high with four wins on the trot and the semifinal berth was well in sight before Delhi brought them back to ground and they would look to settle the score this time.
After losing to Delhi, Bangalore succumbed to another lose to Chennai but Anil Kumble’s team bounced back with a six-wicket win against the bottom-placed Kings XI Punjab on Friday.
Last year’s runners-up RCB have benefitted from sterling performances by top-order batsmen led by South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis, who is the current orange cup holder and Robin Uthappa.
Manish Pandey has also got starts and he would be looking for a big one on Sunday. Bangalore have been further bolstered by the joining of England batsman Kevin Pietersen, who scored a match-winning 44-ball 66 yesterday. Virat Kohli supported him well with a well-made 42.
Among the bowlers, R Vinay Kumar has been the most consistent, picking up 10 wickets so far in the tournament and Dale Steyn has provided him the right support. Praveen Kumar has also chipped in nicely when required and Kallis has also contributed with the ball.
The spin department has been spearheaded by old war-horse Kumble and with Cameroon White to support him, it will be a tough job for any team to score runs of them.