New Delhi: After getting a new lease of life in the Indian Premier League with a win over Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Delhi Daredevils would now look to assert their supremacy over the new entrants once again when they square off in their return-leg match here on Monday.
Delhi thrashed the Tuskers by 38 runs to move to the seventh position in the points table from the bottom while Kochi now stand at nine, just above the Pune Warriors.
Virender Sehwag’s men will carry the psychological advantage into Monday’s game after having beaten them just two days back in their own den, but in Twenty20 a single batsman or bowler can change the complexion of the game and Delhi can’t take the Tuskers lightly.
Delhi’s bowlers have done well with Morne Morkel leading from the front and Irfan Pathan also gradually getting his touch back but the poor form of the middle-order batsmen is still a worry for the hosts.
Whenever Sehwag or David Warner has failed to fire at the top, they have struggled to put enough runs on the board.
Venugopal Rao has lost form after some good starts and Naman Ojha is yet to find his feet in the new season.
Foreign recruit Travis Birt, who has played just two matches so far, has shown that he has the potential and the team would expect him to make some significant contribution on Monday.
It was Sehwag, who single-handedly shaped Delhi’s innings against Kochi with a blistering 80 off 47 balls and the hosts would look up to their skipper for yet another super knock.
If Sehwag succeeds in repeating his blitzkrieg at the Feroze Shah stadium on Monday, there is no doubt that the Kochi bowlers will be in for another bad day.
Delhi’s fortunes would also depend on how Warner, who did extremely well against Kings XI Punjab in an earlier tie, plays against the Kochi pace trio of RP Singh, S Sreesanth and R Vinay Kumar.
RP Singh and Sreesanth so far have been succesful in making early inroads and Delhi would be wary of them.
Kochi are definitely not looking the same side that beat top teams, Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders, on the trot after initial couple of losses.
The inconsistency of Brendon McCullum at the top has hurt them the most and skipper Mahela Jayawardene may be inclined to do some reshuffling in their batting order.
Young Ravindra Jadeja has scored runs for the side but it is difficult for him to steer the side everytime.
They need Parthiv Patel, who has done fine if not exceptionally well, and Jayawardene himself to stay longer at the crease.
Bowling surely is their plus point and Delhi would no doubt turn to their bowlers to snap their three-game losing streak and keep alive their hopes of reaching the knockout stage of the tournament.