Delhi all set to battle against Kochi

first_imgDelhi Daredevils’ difficulties continue to mount and with just a couple of wins under their belt at the half-way stage of the Indian Premier League, they have their task cut out.After four consecutive matches at home, in which they won just once, the Daredevils will have to find the winning habit away from the Kotla, starting with the match against the Kochi Tuskers Kerala at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Saturday.The lively pitch at this venue witnessed a dramatic batting collapse of the home team in its last outing.Batting has been a major cause of concern for both teams but Delhi certainly have more to think about as both their wins have had a lot to do with the opening partnership of captain Virender Sehwag and David Warner firing at the top.Warner has been in decent form and so has Venugopal Rao, but apart from them, none of the other batsmen have done much for the team’s cause.The fact that their bowlers too haven’t been too impressive compounds the misery.After seven matches, Daredevils are yet to find a bowling combination which they can rely on and continue for some time at least.It is for this reason that the Delhi think- tank continues to make changes in their pace attack for every match with their South African recruit Morne Morkel the only one who has consistently looked good so far.The bowling performance in the last match would surely give Irfan Pathan some confidence and he looked good with the movement he extracted from the Kotla track against Kolkata Knight Riders on Thursday.advertisementThe track at the Nehru Stadium will give him more encouragement as it looked like a bowling paradise when Kochi Tuskers were shot out for a mere 74 by Deccan Chargers in their last match.But that could be a double- edged sword as Kochi have a pace attack that boasts of bowlers like RP Singh, Sreesanth and R Vinay Kumar, all of whom are capable enough to exploit the conditions.Delhi’s performance in the first half of the tournament has exposed their weaknesses which outnumber their strengths by a huge margin.Except for Sehwag and Warner, they allowed their other top players to join other franchisees for which the Daredevils have had to pay heavily this season.The fact that they have been playing almost non- stop for the last one week would not have given them much time to iron out their flaws. In fact, Delhi will be playing its fourth match in eight days on Saturday.Against Kochi, however, Delhi can fancy their chances as the Tuskers too haven’t found a strong footing and have three wins from seven games. But the new entrants have shot down three of the most high- profile teams of the tournament.Their three victories have come against Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings, three of the more fancied sides in the competition.Both sides have strong opening pairs who are capable of changing the course of the match.While Sehwag and Warner form one of the most feared opening combinations, Kochi have Brendon McCullum and captain Mahela Jayawardene at the top.Delhi certainly need a victory on Saturday or else they will be left far behind in the race for a place in the knock- out stages.last_img