Daredevils aim to tame CSK juggernaut

Daredevils aim to tame CSK juggernaut

Daredevils aim to tame CSK juggernaut

Nothing seems to be going the Delhi Daredevils’ way. The team underwent a complete revamp this season but still seems to be searching for the winning formula.

Their home ground, Ferozshah Kotla, too could not boost their fortunes after a dismal UAE leg. In their second successive match here, Daredevils face the table toppers and two-time champions Chennai Super Kings on Monday and the home side will look to make an impact against such a formidable opposition.

However, it will easier said than done considering that Super Kings are on a roll with a five-match winning streak.

Following four losses out of their six matches, Daredevils are placed at the penultimate place in the points table above defending champions Mumbai Indians. The Delhi side had finished with a wooden spoon last year and naturally their performance, thus far, has brought a sense of déjà vu.

 The return of Kevin Pietersen as a captain and appointment of Gary Kirsten as head coach has done little for the outfit, who have struggled to win matches even at home. The seven-wicket loss to Rajasthan Royals in what was their first match of the season at Kotla on Saturday was one such reminder.

The team has been hurt by the absence of a genuine bowling spearhead – Mohammed Shami has shown promise but needs time and exposure to shoulder bigger responsibilities. Wayne Parnell and Jaydev Unadkat have not proved to be so effective. Even leg-spinner Rahul Sharma  has struggled to contribute.

Daredevils, though, have a stable opening combination in Murali Vijay and Quinton de Kock. Apart from the two, it is JP Duminy who has stood out with his strokeplay.  The middle order is a worry for the hosts with big names like Ross Taylor, Dinesh Karthik and even Pietersen not performing to their abilities. Pietersen has also been hampered with the finger injury which kept him out from the opening games. 

Pietersen said he hasn’t recovered fully but is playing for the sake of the team. The big names will have to rise to the occasion if they wish to enter the knockout stages. 

Stacked with match winners, CSK brim with confidence.  Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum make for an intimidating opening pair with Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni completing a strong batting line-up. CSK can also rely on the likes of Mohit Sharma in the bowling department. with Ben Hilfenhaus and R Ashwin providing assistance.  The hosts have already suffered a 93-run defeat against them in the UAE phase. In home conditions, Daredevils would hope to make a fresh start on Monday.