It’s tempting to say that every T20 match is a clash among equals. If this doesn’t hold true for all such matches under the sun, the one on Sunday between Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab is certainly one. For, both were losing semifinalists last year.
Losing every match hurts, but losing in the semifinals probably hurts more because you are not counted among the elites who make the finals despite being better than the masses. That way, these teams would have this extra urge to go one step further this year.
Even in the unpredictable scheme of things, the Daredevils possess something that set them apart. In Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir they have two openers who have tormented every attack they have faced in the last year in every form of the game.
Having said that and taken note of the fact that the Kings XI attack looks a little weak with Brett Lee injured out, every team facing the Daredevils would like to believe that it’s a one-ball game for batsmen. Irrespective of the destruction one may cause, one good ball, bad shot, good catch or a run out can quickly change things.
Then again, the Daredevils are not all about openers. There is meat in the middle in the form of A.B. de Villiers and Paul Collingwood apart from Australian opener David Warner who may have to come in after the openers. How they choose the four foreigners is to be seen though and their bowling looks slightly thin apart from Glenn McGrath.
The Kings XI too have a strong batting line-up with Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Yuvraj Singh being the prominent ones. Their biggest concern should be the absence of Shaun Marsh and the lack of big Indian names in batting. It’s likely that three of their four foreigners will be batsmen, which may leave the attack a little weakened.
After assessing the pros and cons, the Daredevils appear to be holding a slender edge nonetheless. Then again, since it is T20 where nothing is certain until it has happened, we maintain that the match starts on an even keel.