New Delhi: After a morale-boosting victory that snapped a six-game losing streak, Delhi Daredevils would look to build on the winning momentum and keep themselves afloat in the competition, as they take on Kings XI Punjab in their Pepsi Indian Premier League match here on Tuesday.
The Daredevils opened their account, in what has so far proved to be a disastrous campaign, with a nine-wicket thrashing of Mumbai Indians on the back of a blistering unbeaten 95 from Virender Sehwag on Sunday.
But they are still at the bottom of the nine-team table and the hosts can ill-afford to lose any more game, starting with the one at the Feroze Shah Kotla.
They will now have to win at least eight out of the remaining nine games to have any chance of being in the reckoning for a knock-out berth.
Sehwag's return to form just a day after legendary West Indian batsman Vivian Richards' appointment as team advisor was the most talked-about topic in the capital. The home side would hope that the discarded India opener would continue from where he had left last evening.
The problem has been that none of the Daredevils' top-order batsmen have fired. Only David Warner and captain Mahela Jayawardene have scored a couple of half centuries besides Sehwag's unbeaten 95 and the home side did not get the starts necessary to post big totals.
Even Warner have not contributed much after his initial success. Jayawardene have also not done much with the bat after scoring a 66 in his side' campaign opener, before hitting a 59 yesterday.
Two other Indians in the top-order, Manpreet Juneja and Kedar Jadhav, had decent outings, while it is to be seen when Unmukt Chand, who has failed in the three matches he has played, could be brought back.
Among the bowlers, pacer Umesh Yadav has been the best performer with nine wickets from the seven matches he had played, while Ashish Nehra had taken six from the four games he'd featured in.
All-rounder Irfan Pathan has been disappointing both with the ball and the bat. He has taken just three wickets from the seven matches he has played in and the management could look for other options if he continues with his poor form.
Kings XI Punjab have been an inconsistent side in the tournament though their sensational seven-wicket victory over Pune Warriors from a seemingly losing position last night would have done a world of good to their morale.
They have not been able to win two matches on the trot and are on six points from three wins from six games.
KXIP have been bogged down by the woeful form of their captain Adam Gilchrist who have scored 15, 9, 0, 7, 26 and 4 in the six innings he had played so far.
With Gilchrist yet to put up a big score, young Mandeep Singh and David Hussey have been carrying the bulk of batting responsibilities for a side which has been dealt a blow by the absence of Australian Shaun Marsh. Marsh, though, is back and could feature in the next game.
David Miller's smashing 41-ball unbeaten knock of 80 against Pune Warriors last night has given some more options to KXIP. He shared a 128-run partnership for the unbroken fourth wicket with Mandeep after everybody thought the match was as good as over for KXIP at the PCA Stadium.
Their pace-heavy bowling department has done a decent job so far in the tournament with Azhar Mahmood and Praveen Kumar being the most successful bowlers with eight and seven wickets respectively.
On two occasions when KXIP lost, the bowlers had not been given enough runs by their batsman to defend. Their concerned though would be the struggling form of leg-spinner Piyush Chawla who has taken just three wickets from six games besides leaking plenty of runs. The Teams (from):
Delhi Daredevils: Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Virender Sehwag, David Warner, Umesh Yadav, Manprit Juneja, Ashish Nehra, Naman Ojha (wk), Irfan Pathan, Andre Russell, Kedar Jadhav, Ajit Agarkar, Johan Botha, Unmukt Chand, Morne Morkel, Shahbaz Nadeem, Ben Rohrer, Royston Dias, Muralidharen Gautam, Siddarth Kaul, Jeevan Mendis, Yogesh Nagar, Sujit Nayak, Pawan Negi, Aristh Singhvi, Roelof van der Merwe, Venugopal Rao, Gulam Bodi.
Kings XI Punjab: Adam Gilchrist (capt), Parvinder Awana, Azhar Mahmood, David Hussey, Praveen Kumar, Piyush Chawla, Mandeep Singh, Ryan Harris, David Miller, Manpreet Gony, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Harmeet Singh, Paul Valthaty, Manan Vohra, Bhargav Bhatt, Bipul Sharma, Siddharth Chitnis, Aniket Choudhary, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Luke Pomersbach, Nitin Saini, Sandeep Sharma, Rajagopal Sathish, Sunny Singh.