May 05, 2017
By MI Media
The cocoon of safety is warmly woven around us, as we head to Delhi for an encounter, away from home. When Delhi came knocking on our doors, at the Wankhede, we made easy work of them. It was our first victory of the season, batting first. Against a sharp bowling attack, we couldn’t touch 150, but it was our bowlers who bounced back with a startling performance. Led by Mitchell McClenaghan’s aggression, we pegged the young Delhi batsmen back inside the Powerplay itself. Morris and Rabada tried their best to get them closer to the target, but in vain.
Delhi Daredevils have since undergone a huge transformation in tactics and form under Karun Nair’s fearless captaincy. A move that took many by surprise got Nair into the thick of things and has stepped in well for Zaheer Khan. The same, young batting line-up which crumbled against us, has been on a chasing frenzy in their last two games; both of them at their home-ground, the Kotla. They chased down 186 against the defending champions, Sunrisers Hyderabad and most recently, made mockery of Gujarat Lions’ target of 209, gunning it down inside 18 overs.
While Delhi are in the middle of a packed week, our boys will be fresh off a well-deserved break. We won our last two games too, against Royal Challengers Bangalore at home and Gujarat Lions, away in what was a dramatic finish in the super over. The best that has come out in the last fortnight or so for us has been, skipper Rohit Sharma’s form. After a lacklustre start to the season, Rohit has come into his own in our last few games. The runs have come in plenty and the shots are getting as effortless as we have known him to execute in the past.
The contest could effectively go down to our penetrative bowling against their dashing top order. Both the teams have played fearless cricket and have been cool under pressure situations. Delhi are desperate to win all their games to increase their chances of qualification for the play-offs, while one win will guarantee our berth.
Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi
Runs, runs and runs! That is what the Kotla has to offer, or at least has been the case in the last three games. First innings scores have been in excess of 180 in all three matches. Both teams have quality fast bowlers in their line-up, but don’t be surprised if you see them resorting to changes in pace over all out pace.
Mitchell McClenaghan vs Rishabh Pant:
Mitchell McClenaghan has the knack of picking up wickets, while Rishabh Pant has the ability to find the fence and the crowd with regularity. There have been a few off days for Mitch this season, but he won’t want this game to be one of them. Anything wrong against Delhi’s dynamic batsmen could cause a huge leakage of runs. McClenaghan’s aggression may come in handy against someone like Pant.
Rohit Sharma vs Amit Mishra:
At the start of the season, Rohit Sharma had been dismissed by a few leg spinners; one of them was Amit Mishra. The leggie sent Rohit back for just 5 runs at the Wankhede. Rohit however, has some record on his side. He has scored more runs against the Daredevils than any other batsman in the IPL, and is back in form as well with two 50+ scores in our last three games.
Jos Buttler vs Kagiso Rabada:
We have all witnessed what Jos Buttler can do against pacers in this season. The moment he finds the ball coming on to his bat, it goes screaming off it to all parts of the ground. Rabada can touch 150 kph and is not known to possess a deceptive slower delivery either. Buttler will be waiting to get off the blocks in the Powerplay.