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Charged battle on the cards for Daredevils

Parity may be hard to find in real life but the rigours of a league system help establish just that. The Delhi Daredevils and the Deccan Chargers who find themselves with an identical win-loss record (3-6) going into Thursday's match at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium is a case in point. Vinayak Pande reports. Matchbox

cricket Updated: May 05, 2011 02:05 IST
Vinayak Pande
Vinayak Pande
Hindustan Times
Vinayak Pande

Parity may be hard to find in real life but the rigours of a league system help establish just that. The Delhi Daredevils and the Deccan Chargers who find themselves with an identical win-loss record (3-6) going into Thursday's match at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium is a case in point.

Both teams also find themselves in the same plight as far as finding the right combination among their reshuffled players for this season are concerned. The Deccan Chargers' coach Darren Lehman has tried the approach of shuffling his batting line-up to always keep a right hand-left hand combination at the crease.

His Delhi Daredevils counterpart David Shepherd has for the most part persisted with the same batting order in the hope that continuity will ultimately lead to stability.

The Daredevils certainly need that after coming off a disappointing loss to the Tuskers on their home turf.

However, one can't help but question their retaining a non-performer like Irfan Pathan. Shepherd again faced questions about Pathan's continued selection at a press conference on the eve of the match.

He was quick to nip any suggestion of Pathan being dropped in the bud. "I think he has been contributing," Shepherd said.

"It's just a media created issue about him not contributing," he said. In defence of Pathan it can be said that taking six wickets so far this year can be counted as a contribution. But it's a really tough sell given the fact that those wickets have come in nine games.

In any case, if the pitch for Thursday's match is anything like the one used for the Knight Riders match on Tuesday then a bowler's contribution could well become a moot point.

Virender Sehwag should be relishing the prospect of batting on this track and against the Chargers' bowling attack that had struggled to contain the Knight Riders batsmen.

A lot can change over the course of a game, however, and given the inconsistency of these two teams, we could very well be in for a match that turns on its head many times.

At least it will keep the punters in the cheap seats, the fat cats in the corporate boxes and even the (slightly fewer) TV viewers entertained.

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