Raipur: A lacklustre Delhi Daredevils will look to change their fortunes when they face an equally out-of-sorts Pune Warriors India in the Game 39 of IPL 6 on Sunday. The match will also mark the debut of a new venue, the International Cricket Stadium in the capital city of Chattisgarh.
Both the sides are yet to make a mark in this edition. While Delhi are placed at the bottom of the table with seven defeats in eight games and the Pune, who have lost six out of their eight encounters are currently placed eighth.
However, Delhi have missed the services of their star players - Kevin Pietersen and Jesse Ryder, who suffered injury before the start of the tournament, whereas Pune have hardly produced an effort to match the line-up they possess.
Initially, batting was a cause of concern for Pune, but once that was sorted out, their bowlers started getting hammered. In fact, the situation gives Delhi a good opportunity to clinch their second win in the tournament as they might face another beleaguered side which is yet to recover from the Gayle assault. Gayle's 175 not out, in their last match, must have done a lot of psychological damage to their bowling unit.
But for the second win, Delhi's Virender Sehwag and David Warner need to fire in unison. While it was expected that captain Mahela Jayawardene, Sehwag and Warner will shoulder extra responsibility in Ryder and Pietersen's absence, but their contributions hasn't been that noteworthy considering their reputation as top international players.
Only five half-centuries have been scored by Delhi batsmen with Jayawardene and Warner scoring a couple and the only match-winning 95 not out knock by Sehwag. Kedar Jadhav has shown some good batting but he is certainly not good enough to pull off a match single handedly. The big worry for Delhi has been their middle-order and Manpreet Juneja is yet to prove his worth.
For Pune, getting the right combination of four foreigners has been the key. Aaron Finch, who is leading the side in the absence of Angelo Mathews, is capable of giving an explosive start, but his captaincy has suffered mainly due to the poor form of his bowlers.
In the bowling department, barring Bhuvneshwar Kumar, none of the others have been able to maintain consistency. The biggest dampner has been Yuvraj Singh who has scored just 104 runs in five games and one would expect that the left-hander bounces back to form at the earliest.
Delhi Daredevils: 1 Mahela Jayawardene (capt), 2 Virender Sehwag, 3 David Warner, 4 Umesh Yadav, 5 Manprit Juneja, 6 Ashish Nehra, 7 Naman Ojha/Kedar Jadhav (wk), 8 Irfan Pathan, 9 Johan Botha, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Shahbaz Nadeem,
Pune Warriors: 1 Aaron Finch (capt), 2 Steve Smith, 3 Yuvraj Singh, 4 Abhishek Nayar, 5 Robin Uthappa, 6 Manish Pandey, 7 Marlon Samuels, 8 Mithun Manhas, 9 Rahul Sharma, 10 Ashok Dinda, 11 Bhuvneshwar Kumar