IPL: With nothing to lose, can Delhi surprise Bangalore?
With nothing but pride at stake, Delhi Daredevils will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in their Indian Premier League match in New Delhi on Friday.
In a complete contrast to their performance last year, Delhi have not looked even a pale shadow of themselves. With nine defeats from 12 matches, it has only gone from bad to worse for the home side.
In the current scenario, however, they can play without any pressure. There is no burden of expectations on the misfiring batters and bowlers, who have been out-of-sorts. They now have nothing to lose and can just go on to play party-poopers.Delhi's top order has failed miserably. Neither Virender Sehwag nor captain, Mahela Jayawardene have lived up to their reputations. Australian left-hander David Warner is the only one who has done his bit.
Image: Johan Botha of Delhi Daredevils celebrates the wicket
Bangalore will look to consolidate its position before play-offs
Bangalore, who may still be recovering from a rude David Miller shock, cannot afford to take a step wrong, as the fight for the play-offs is tight.
Sitting at the top, Chennai Super Kings are almost assured of a berth in the knock-out stage but there is a close battle among Mumbai Indians, Bangalore, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals for the other three slots for the play-offs.
Bangalore face three teams that are out of the race -- Delhi, Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab before they clash with strong contenders Chennai in their last match on May 18. So Bangalore would look to consolidate their position in these matches.
However, it may be tricky for Bangalore since laggards Delhi, who have nothing at stake, may come up with a surprise performance on their day and may spoil their chances.
Image: RCB captain Virat Kohli
Rampaul has been brilliant for RCB
Batting is not a worry for Bangalore. They have been consistently scoring in and around the 200-run mark while batting first and have chased targets easily with Chris Gayle at his explosive best.
But the way they were blown away by the Miller storm in their last match against Kings XI Punjab, bowling is certainly a concern for them.
In the last four matches, Bangalore have conceded more than 170 runs -- against Kings XI Punjab, Rajasthan, Pune Warriors and Mumbai Indians.
West Indies paceman Ravi Rampaul has been brilliant upfront and at the death overs but R P Singh and R Vinay Kumar have proved expensive.
The only thing that can be a positive for Bangalore bowlers is that they are up against a struggling batting line-up.
The Teams (From):
Delhi Daredevils: Mahela Jayawardene (C), Virender Sehwag, David Warner, Umesh Yadav, Manpreet Juneja, Ashish Nehra, Naman Ojha, Irfan Pathan, Andre Russell, Kedar Jadhav, Ajit Agarkar, Johan Botha, Unmukt Chand, Morne Morkel, Shabaz Nadeem, Ben Rohrer, Royston Dias, Muralitharan Gautam, Sidharth Kaul, Jeevan Mendis, Yogesh Nagar, Sujeet Nayak, Pavan Negi, Aristh Singhvi, Roelof van der Merwe, Venugopal Rao and Gulam Bodi.Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (C), A B de Villiers, Abhimanyu Mithun, Abhinav Mukund, Andrew McDonald, Arun Karthik, Cheteshwar Pujara, Chris Gayle, Christopher Barnwell, Daniel Christian, Daniel Vettori, Harshal Patel, Jaidev Unadkat, K P Appanna, Karun Nair, Mayank Agarwal, Moises Henriques, Murali Kartik, Muttiah Muralitharan, Pankaj Singh, Prasanth Parameswaran, R Vinay Kumar, Ravi Rampaul, Rudra Pratap Singh, S Aravind, Sandeep Warrier, Saurabh Tiwary, Sheldon Jackson, Sunny Sohal, Syed Mohammad, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Vijay Zol, Zaheer Khan.
Image: Ravi Rampaul