It would be interesting to see Delhi Daredevils’ strategy to regain the slippery top spot when they take on win-hungry Mumbai Indians, eager to bounce back after two straight defeats, in the Indian Premier League here on Friday.
With a new name adorning the number one position after almost every match, the Daredevils, who climbed to the coveted position after trampling over event’s whipping boys Kolkata Knight Riders by nine wickets, would have to up the ante when they take on Sachin Tendulkar’s army for the first time in the tournament.
Delhi have played the least number of ties (seven) but aggregated highest points (10) so far in the eight-team event that has already staged 34 of its 59 matches. However, Chennai took after they thumped Punjab by 12 runs.
But that Mumbai put up a brave fight against Deccan Chargers on Wednesday is indication enough that it won’t be as easy as their previous match for Daredevils.
Barring a few lapses, Mumbai held their cards for most part in the game of dwindling fortunes.
Mumbai boast of an attacking opening pair of Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya, well supported by South African swashbuckler Jean-Paul Duminy in the middle order.
Their bowling looks equally impressive studded with Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and West Indies’ Dwayne Bravo.
However, it remains to be seen if pace spearhead Zaheer Khan, who is nursing a shoulder injury, gets fit for the match on Friday.
Among the youngsters, Dhawal Kulkarni and Pinal Shah also impressed with both ball and bat against Deccan Chargers.
But despite the impressive line-up, Mumbai are second from bottom with just three wins from eight matches.
For Delhi, their key batsman Gautam Gambhir, who also stood-in for an injured captain Virender Sehwag, was back among the runs after an indifferent start to the tournament.
Tillakaratne Dilshan also demonstrated his form in their last match against the hapless KKR.
Delhi may consider fielding Glenn McGrath in place of Dutch-born Dirk Nannes on Friday with Ashish Nehra, Amit Mishra and Pradeep Sangwan already doing well for the side.