HindustanTimes Sat,27 Dec 2014
Delhi eye top spot as they face struggling Deccan Chargers
Hyderabad, May 09, 2012
First Published: 16:54 IST(9/5/2012)
Last Updated: 16:55 IST(9/5/2012)

Delhi Daredevils would look to reclaim the top spot when they take on a floundering Deccan Chargers in their Indian Premier League clash, on Thursday.

Daredevils had surrendered the top spot to Kolkata Knight Riders when they lost the home match by six wickets.

With 16 points from 11 matches, they are placed second and have virtually sealed a play-off berth, while Chargers are out of reckoning with just five points from 12 matches.

A win tomorrow would serve the visitors well as they face tough rivals ahead in Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings, who are desperate to come out of mid-table logjam and be in play-off contention.

There is little doubt that Daredevils are the odds-on favourites but they need to guard against complacency as their batting and bowling both looked ordinary against KKR and for the first time, their middle-order was put to test and it failed miserably.

Their foreign recruit Ross Taylor has not fired as yet and in the absence of star English cricketer Kevin Pietersen, who has gone back to England for national duty, the defeat has certainly acted as a wake-up call for Virender Sehwag's boys.

Taylor, by his own admission is out of form having managed only 107 runs from eight matches, and the Daredevils management may be tempted to pitchfork West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell in the thick of things.

Not only Russell is a capable seamer, he is also a very handy batsman. The rest of the team selects itself.

Daredevils have depth in batting as despite Pietersen not part of it now, the outfit has been bolstered by the arrival of another match-winner in David Warner.

The Daredevils are no doubt a better side with formidable batting line-up and a balanced bowling attack while Chargers have relied a bit more on individual performances from the Australian Cameron White and South African pacer Dale Steyn.

Lack of consistency combined with inability to soak pressure has been the case for Deccan from the start of the league. They created chances for themselves many a times but stumbled near the finish line.

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