Pune: Pune Warriors India host Delhi Daredevils on Sunday in a match which will decide who takes the last spot in the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League. Both teams have a tournament to forget, each picking up just three wins in 15 matches and it's hard to say who is the favourite going into this match. Ideally, it has to be the team with fewer shortcomings. But looking at both teams and their performance so far, one finds very little to choose from.
Delhi's batting has completely fallen apart this season. Virender Sehwag, who in his day scared the daylights out of bowlers, seems to have lost everything which made him one of the most fearsome cricketers in the world. Mahela Jayawardene too has failed to live up to his huge experience and reputation. The youngsters in the team, most notably Unmukt Chand, also have been disappointing. Australian dasher David Warner has been the only Delhi player among the runs but no support at the other end for him has put his efforts into the background.
Delhi's bowling - comprised of Umesh Yadav, Morne Morkel, Irfan Pathan and Ashish Nehra - is pretty good but hasn't been complemented at all by their batting. As for Pune, just reverse the picture. Their batting has been fairly good with Aaron Finch and Robin Uthappa in decent form, but their bowling has been a big concern.
It's very important that the two teams go into the match with just one purpose - of entertaining the crowd at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium. There is nothing to lose and that should rev them up. They can also make a few changes to give a chance to players who have been in the background until now.
As far as head-to-head is concerned, Delhi have a 3-1 lead but that counts for little: whoever wins the match on Sunday will still have to reflect on their season and learn from their lessons.
Delhi Daredevils: 1 Mahela Jayawardene (capt), 2 Unmukt Chand, 3 Virender Sehwag, 4 David Warner, 5 Ben Rohrer, 6 Irfan Pathan, 7 CM Gautam/Naman Okha (wk), 8 Morne Morkel, 9 Siddarth Kaul, 10 Umesh Yadav, 11 Ashish Nehra
Pune Warriors India: 1 Robin Uthappa (wk) 2 Aaron Finch (capt), 3 Manish Pandey, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Luke Wright, 6, Angelo Mathews, 7 Raiphi Gomez, 8 Wayne Parnell, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Ali Murtaza, 11 Ishwar Pandey