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Home truths: On losing spree, Daredevils need to pitch it right

cricket Updated: Apr 20, 2011 01:00 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times
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The team name suggests audacity, but the way their campaign has gone so far, the national capital's IPL team might well be rechristened Delhi Direstraits.

The defeat against Deccan Chargers again exposed the frailties that have resulted in their third defeat from four games.

The Daredevils batting has failed to sparkle every time skipper Virender Sehwag has gone cheaply; and the explosive batsman can't really be expected to set himself free.

Delhi are missing a quality spinner and young left-arm Shahbaz Nadeem is too raw; all-rounder Irfan Pathan is a long way from his best as he makes his injury comeback. And the Ferozshah Kotla pitches have been sluggish despite the team's request for livelier tracks to help their pace-oriented attack.

As Delhi slumped to defeat, local player Yogesh Nagar hammered a 10-ball 22 that only helped narrow the margin of defeat. Sehwag later admitted the 21-year-old, who also bowls off-spin, had been a desperate pick for the game.

"He was basically playing as a batsman who can bowl," he said. "We don't have much option. He's the only Indian spinner we could have played."

What about the pitch? Sehwag looked helpless. "It's been like this for the last few years. It is difficult to chase 160-170 on this wicket. We asked them to prepare a couple of (pacy) wickets, but this is what we got." Delhi play four of their next five games at home - starting with KXIP on Saturday. They will hope a request to get a better pitch will help turn things around.