IPL: Daredevils under pressure to deliver (Preview)

Bangalore, April 15 (IANS) It is about time that Delhi not just dared to win, but actually did so and time is fast running out for these stragglers as they face Royal Challengers Bangalore here Tuesday in the Indian Premier League.

Despite the impressive line-up, the Daredevils have so far failed to measure up to expectations and would be under tremendous pressure to pick up their first points if only to prove that the team is not just a collection of stars but an effective unit.

The onus will be on Delhi skipper Mahela Jayawardene who himself is in a dismal form and seemed to be struggling to get his boys to jell as a team that is sorely missing injured Kevin Pietersen.

The irony for Daredevils has been that in two of the four matches, they notched 160 and 165 and still lost, while in the other two games, they had scores of 128 and 114. The inconsistency of their batsmen, besides the absence of Virender Sehwag in opening three games, has contributed to the side’s disappointing performances.

Sehwag finally played his first game Saturday, but failed to make any impression. To stress the obvious, Daredevils would be hoping he would regain his form and help lift the team from the dumps.

In contrast, the Daredevils’ bowling that is rather pace heavy with South African ace Morne Morkel and Irfan Pathan sharing the new ball with the likes of Umesh Yadav and Ashish Nehra playing the support roles, appears to be in capable hands.

However, in the spin department, the Daredevils come up short and to an extent, it has affected their overall performance. The lack of an established and quality spinner has certainly put a question mark over the balance of the bowling attack.

Tuesday, the Daredevils will come up against the RCB who have looked unbeatable at the Mangalam Chinnaswamy Stadium here, having won all their three home games this season. Conversely, RCB have lost both their away matches, albeit narrowly.

While RCB have enjoyed great success at home with Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli making massive contributions with the bat, it also augurs well for the team that middle-order batsman AB de Villiers too has run into form to lend stability to the line-up.

Further, lending teeth to their bowling has been West Indian seamer Ravi Rampaul who picked up three wickets in Chennai and has proved to be a good substitute for Aussie Moises Henriques, who sat out the game against Chennai Super Kings.

To a large extent, RCB are spoilt for choice in the bowling department with the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan and Murali Karthik, both seasoned spinners, also available.

Thus, RCB have been able to adopt a horses-for-courses approach as far as bowling is concerned.

Overall, RCB look best equipped to win Tuesday’s game while Daredevils will have to come up with something special to chalk up their first success this season, a task easier said than done.

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