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Needed: Daredevilry from Delhi now

cricket Updated: Oct 11, 2009 01:08 IST
Deepika Sharma
Deepika Sharma
Hindustan Times
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They weren’t twisting by the pool, but players of the Sri Lankan team, Wayamba, spent the unusually hot afternoon making a splash and having fun.

Not far from their hotel, at the Ferozeshah Kotla, was the Delhi Daredevils whom Wayamba play in the Champions League T20 on Sunday. Having fluffed their opening lines against Victoria Bushrangers on Friday, poolside thoughts must have been the last thing on their minds.

That’s because if what happened on Friday isn’t history, Delhi Dardevils could well be, in the context of this tournament.

The star-studded hosts were ambushed in the opener, being dismissed for 98 before losing by seven wickets following an equally ineffective showing by the bowlers.

Hopes will again rest on the shoulders of Virender Sehwag and skipper

Gautam Gambhir. The India openers took the field together after a long time against Victoria but the kind of explosive start they are famous for didn’t happen.

The Daredevils have been hit by a litany of injury worries and that seems to have hurt the batting department of coach David Saker’s side. First, they lost South African AB de Villiers, England’s in-form Paul Collinwood and then Kiwi Daniel Vettori pulled out.

If these pullouts are one of the reasons for Friday’s horror show, it hasn’t ended yet. The latest on the injured list is ‘Mr Dependable’ Mithun Manhas who pulled his hamstring and will sit out Sunday’s game.

That the Daredevils’s batting has to fire is a no-brainer and for a change in fortune, the think tank is also mulling giving Glenn ‘Pigeon’ McGrath a game. “There’s a good chance that McGrath gets the ball in tomorrow’s match,” said Saker.

Wayamba is full of players who xhave represented Sri Lanka, both in the past and now, and have been tipped by many as the competition’s surprise package. Ajantha Mendis and his carrom balls will be the major threat to Delhi. Hopefully Viru can send a few to the stands and give their money’s worth.