Kings XI Punjab sup with Delhi Daredevils at OUTsurance Oval here on Friday. Yuvraj Singh and his men, currently seventh on the table, will be desperate to put behind them the thrashing at the hands of the Mumbai Indian and collect a win to boost their chances of making it to the semi-finals. Their task will be cut out against the Daredevils, who are top of the table and in smashing form.
Dinesh the menace
Everyone knows the Daredevils have a strong batting line-up, but when they took on Deccan Chargers on Wednesday, few would have expected Dinesh Karthik to play the most explosive innings. The wicket-keeper batsman smashed 44 off 23 balls. Gautam Gambhir, David Warner, A.B de Villiers and Tillakaratne Dilshan are all capable of taking the game away from the opposition. Skipper Virender Sehwag is due a big one.
On paper, despite the presence of Yuvraj in their line-up, Kings XI’s batting does not match up to the Daredevils’. Mahela Jayawardene is out with a grade-one hamstring tear and in the best-case scenario, can be back only for the final, if Kings XI make it that far. So it is time now for some of the lesser-known players to grab their chance.
Pace and swing
Brett Lee is bowling fast as he looks to regain match fitness ahead of the ICC World T20 and the Ashes and Irfan Pathan can swing it, with the bat as well. With Sreesanth “under-performing” with the ball, it is crucial that Lee and Pathan nip out a couple or more with the new ball in the first few overs. They have to put the Daredevils under pressure and hope Sehwag and Co. have a collective bad day.