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Delhi's galloping start is a revelation

india Updated: Apr 18, 2012 23:46 IST
Mark Waugh
Mark Waugh

Delhi-Daredevils-yoga-trainer-James-Harrington-has-helped-many-players-with-their-fitness-Getty

It has been a contrasting start for the two teams which play today. While the Delhi Daredevils have sped away with three victories in their four games, the Deccan Chargers are yet to notch up their first.

While Chargers’ coach Darren Lehman will be scratching his head in disbelief, two of their three defeats have come in the final over. Rohit Sharma played a gem to lead the Mumbai Indians to a win in Deccan's second game while Brad Hodge led the way to a smashing Rajasthan victory in the last match.

It was more of the opposition snatching a win from the jaws of defeat than the Chargers allowing them to do so. How else can you explain a bowler of the calibre of Dale Steyn go for as much as he did against the Rajasthan Royals? Purely, brilliant batting on a pitch tailor-made for this format.

The Daredevils have been the revelation of the tournament, banking on their plethora of pace bowling options. Morne Morkel is in a class of his own but unlike some of the other sides, he has enough backup in the form of the young Umesh Yadav and the swing and subtle variation of Irfan Pathan.

I liked the way Shahbaz Nadeem bowled at the Mumbai Indians, ostensibly brought on to open the bowling. The tactic worked and before the latecomers had even occupied their seats, Delhi had their opponents two down.

What the Daredevils will now hope is for their batsmen to get used to the pitch at Kotla, which I believe could play a tad slower than some of the others.

Revenge time
In the other game of the evening, the Chennai Super Kings have a chance to avenge their defeat to the Pune Warriors. Jesse Ryder was superb in that game while Steve Smith brought the team home with his spanking cameo.

Smith is a much-improved cricketer and I wouldn't be surprised if he has done a lot of work on his batting. He hasn't bowled too much so far, but his fielding has been a standout and that makes him a very valuable player to have in the XI. The Super Kings have been rather sluggish and can hardly afford to lose another one here.

My guess is that Doug Bollinger could get another chance while the batting at the top may see a change. Of course, MS Dhoni is that sort of a captain who can upset all predictions and back those who are not performing!

PMG

The writer is a former Australia opener