New Delhi: They finished at the bottom of the heap last season. The current season too, does not seem too promising for the Delhi Daredevils.
Having lost three and won just two matches in the UAE, they have started the India leg in the worst manner possible — with two consecutive defeats at home.
On Wednesday, the Daredevils face another team Kolkata Knight Riders who are eager to put some points on the board.
The two sluggish performers of IPL7 will hope to end their respective losing streaks when they meet at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
With an attack packed with pacers and just two front-line spinners in Shabaz Nadeem and Rahul Sharma, the Delhi bowling has struggled.
Medium-pacer Jaidev Unadkat has been the highest wicket taker so far with six scalps in the six matches he has played. Bengal pacer Mohammad Shami has also bowled well although he has only four wickets to show for his efforts.
The batting unit led by J.P. Duminy, who lies fourth on the list of highest scorers with 240 runs, has managed to get big scores on several occasions.
But Dinesh Karthik, with just two half-centuries under his belt, has not been able to justify the price tag he was bought for at the auctions. M. Vijay has been inconsistent to say the least with just one fifty to is credit. Delhi will be bolstered by the arrival of South African Imran Tahir who will replace the injured Nathan Coulter Nile.
Like Delhi, the Knight Riders have also struggled to get going this season. They started promisingly enough, beating defending champions Mumbai Indians in the season opener in Abu Dhabi. But it has been all downhill from there on.
Their standout performer has been West Indies spinner Sunil Narine who has 11 wickets in his kitty.
He has got reasonable support at the other end from Shakib al Hasan. Kolkata’s problem has been their batting. Skipper Gautam Gambhir was totally off-colour to begin with, but has returned to form with a half-century against the Rajasthan Royals in the last match. But that did little to change the Knight Riders’ fortunes as they lost six wickets for just two runs to concede the match by 10 runs.
With Delhi enjoying home advantage and the psychological edge of winning the first leg game, will start as the favourites. But they will do well not to underestimate a KKR side desperate for a win....