Battle of guiles between Delhi and Punjab on Sunday

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> A battle of guiles between some big hitters of the game and experienced bowlers is on the cards when Delhi and Punjab take on each on Sunday.

Updated: April 19, 2009 09:19 IST
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Cape Town:

A battle of guiles between some big hitters of the game and experienced bowlers is on the cards when Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab take on each in their opening encounter of the Indian Premier League on Sunday.

The Daredevils, the pundits' favourite, boast off a balanced side with in-form batsmen and experienced bowlers in their ranks though the result can go either way as both the sides will be rusty in their first matches at Newlands.

The Delhi franchisee have an explosive batting line-up with the likes of captain Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, David Warner and South African AB de Villiers in pink of form while Glenn McGrath and Daniel Vettori will lead the bowling department.

Australian Dirk Nannes, the Twenty20 specialist though is not certain whether he would play tomorrow as only four foreigners are allowed in the playing XI.

Young Umesh Yadav, who tormented the Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman in the Duleep Trophy, is also likely to be thrown into the ring by Sehwag to prove his spell against the India biggies was not flash in the pan.

Kings XI Punjab are no less formidable in batting with Sri Lankans Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawradene besides captain Yuvraj Singh.

They will also miss Australians Shaun Marsh and James Hopes who will be in Abu Dhabi for national duties.

The achilles heel for Kings XI Punjab is in the bowling department. With the absence of Brett Lee, Jerome Taylor and S Sreesanth, the much of the bowling responsibilities will be shouldered by Irfan Pathan and Piyush Chawla.

Pathan though has not been able to cement in the Indian team and his confidence is not that high. England all-rounder Ravi Bopara could come in handy for Yuvraj tomorrow.

On the other hand, the Daredevils have the experienced Glenn McGrath, who defied age in the last edition, and justified his 'pigeon' status and he should also come good this time also with his rich experience in South Africa.

Sehwag also has good spin options in Daniel Vettori and Amit Mishra though it is to be seen whether Daredevils will go for two spinners or not on a hard and bouncy Newlands pitch.

The Daredevils looked the more compact side but in Yuvraj Kings XI have the ace who can change the complexion of the game anytime.

It would be an interesting battle between Yuvraj and McGrath if they face each other though the Punjab left-hander pays scant respect of the reputation of bowlers.

In fact, Kings XI has three Indians who won the Twenty20 World Championship under Mahendra Singh Dhoni in South Africa in 2007 and Sehwag and Co. would take the Mohali-based side lightly to their peril.

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