Delhi Daredevils would look to reclaim the top spot when they take on hapless Deccan Chargers in their Indian Premier League clash on Thursday in Deccan's backyard in Hyderabad. Delhi surrendered the top spot to Kolkata Knight Riders when they lost the home match by six wickets and will look to get back to winning ways.
While DD have virtually qualified for the play-offs, Deccan exit is virtually confirmed and the home team on Thursday will only have pride to play for. There is little doubt that Delhi are the odds-on favourites but they need to guard against complacency as their batting and bowling both looked ordinary against KKR and for the first time, their middle-order was put to test and it failed miserably.
Their foreign recruit Ross Taylor has not fired as yet and is likely to make way for West Indies allrounder Andre Russell, who is yet to play a match in this year's IPL. Not only Russell is a capable seamer, he is also a very handy batsman. Delhi have depth in batting as despite Pietersen not part of it now, the outfit has been bolstered by the arrival of another match-winner in David Warner. On the other hand their bowling have been superb so far. Likes of Morne Morkel leading the way ably supported by Shahbaz Nadeem, Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron. The bowlers have picked up wickets at regular interval and have also contained the batsmen.
On the other hand, Deccan batsmen have worked themselves into reasonable form. But the Hyderabad outfit have suffered for want of a balanced bowling attack and their poor fielding hasn't helped their cause. The likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Cameron White have been a shining light for them amid what has been a disastrous campaign. In the bowling front, except Dale Steyn, the Deccan does not have quality bowlers in their ranks. Their domestic pacers in Veer Pratap Singh, A Ashish Reddy and Anand Rajan have also failed to provide the South African speedster good support from the other end. The spin department also lacks sting with legspinner Amit Mishra resembling a pale shadow of himself.
Deccan Chargers: Daniel Harris, Shikhar Dhawan, Parthiv Patel, Cameron White, Kumar Sangakkara, Akshat Reddy, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Ashish Reddy, Rusty Theron, Amit Mishra, VP Singh
Delhi Daredevils: David Warner, Virender Sehwag, Mahela Jayawardene, Andre Russell, Irfan Pathan, Yogesh Nagar, Naman Ojha, Morne Morkel, Shahbaz Nadeem, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron.