Languishing seventh on the points table, a struggling Delhi Daredevils will look to put their IPL-7 campaign back on the track when they face a rampaging Chennai Super Kings in a home game at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Monday.
CSK are on song with five victories on-the-trot while Delhi have four defeats in six outings so far in the tournament. Even the return to their home turf failed to change Delhi's fortunes as they suffered a five-wicket defeat against Rajasthan Royals on Saturday despite putting a defendable 152 on the board.
Delhi have failed to click as a unit and that is the major reason for their misery in the league. South African southpaw JP Duminy's batting and the bowling of Mohammed Shami and Wayne Parnell have been the saving grace for them.
Sitting just above the bottom-placed defending champions Mumbai Indians in the eight-team competition, Delhi need a miracle to move up the ladder and be in the reckoning for the knockout stages. Delhi were humiliated by Chennai in the UAE leg when they lost by an embarrassing 93-run margin after being all out for a paltry 84 in a chase of 178.
Delhi need Ross Taylor, Dinesh Karthik and most importantly skipper Kevin Pietersen to do something special if they aspire further progress in the tournament. Quinton de Kock and Murali Vijay have got runs on and off but they need to be more consistent.
On the other hand, Chennai have been dominating, thanks to their clinical all-round show.
Right from the top to middle and lower order, the batting line-up is equipped with match winners. Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum have given the side the never-before solidarity at the top and in the middle order they have players like Suresh Raina, skipper MS Dhoni himself and Faf du Plessis.
CSK's bowling attack is also formidable with Ben Hilfenhaus leading from the front. Mohit Sharma has been a revelation while the wily Ravichandran Ashwin always has a trick or two up his sleeves to restrict the rival batsmen. If that is not enough, Ravindra Jadeja is there as a big asset for the team with his all-round ability.
The best way for Delhi is to put pressure on CSK batting line-up and restrict them to a gettable total, but saying that is one thing and doing it another.
(With PTI inputs)