New Delhi: Bolstered by the arrival of Mahela Jayawardena and Kevin Pietersen, Delhi Daredevils will look to topple MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings on Tueday even though both teams have played two matches each and one only one of them.
Delhi Daredevils have played Chennai Super Kings twice at the Feroz Shah Kotla, and both times the Daredevils have posted imposing totals (187 and 185), only for the Super Kings to overhaul them. The Daredevils' overall record at their home ground isn't impressive either - they have lost 13 of their 23* games here.
But when they take the field on Tuesday, the Daredevils will be relieved to have Mahela Jayawardene and Kevin Pietersen joining them. Both batsmen were in good form in the recently concluded Test series and should find a place in the playing XI that appeared a bit low on ammunition in Bangalore. At the bowling front, Umesh Yadav, who had a bout of cramps in the last game, is available for selection and will add sting to the attack with Morne Morkel and Doug Bracewell. If Irfan Pathan can support the trio with his swing bowling, this line-up has the ability to spice up even a slow pitch at the Kotla.
Super Kings struggled in their first game against Mumbai Indians but found their groove against Deccan Chargers. Their well-oiled batting artillery has power hitters all the way down to No.8. However, MS Dhoni hasn't hit a boundary in the first two matches and he is due for some big shots in this game.
The match has the potential of turning into a bat-out, however, the subplot - a contest between Daredevils' pace attack and Super Kings' slow bowlers - could be just as interesting to watch.
Players to watch
Mahela Jayawardene scored 354 runs in the two Test matches against England and he brings that form and ability to score quickly with nimble shots. Besides bringing solidity to the team, Jayawardene's presence could help Virender Sehwag relax.
R Ashwin has bowled seven overs for 32 runs in his last two games for Super Kings without a wicket. As a lead spinner, he has been economical, but with big names in the opposition, will he rise to the challenge?
Last year, the two teams played each other only once, in Chennai, where a Dhoni onslaught (63 off 31 balls) helped the Super Kings beat a Sehwag-less Daredevils by 18 runs.
Stats and trivia
Suresh Raina has hit 79 sixes in his IPL career, which is second behind Adam Gilchrist's 83.
Virender Sehwag's strike rate of 169.15 is the highest in IPL, six points more than Chris Gayle's.
Super Kings lead Daredevils in the head-to-head 4-3.
Daredevils' home record is the second-worst, after Deccan Chargers.
"I know the Delhi Daredevils fans would have liked the Colombo Test to end in three or four days so that we could play last night's [April 7] game against Royal Challengers Bangalore. But KP and I had other ideas." - Mahela Jayawardene and Kevin Pietersen both scored hundreds in the Colombo Test
"I try to think what the batsman might want to do before each delivery. But I'll stick to bowling flat and quick. Taking wickets in one match doesn't mean I will suddenly start tossing up the ball." - Ravindra Jadeja discusses his strategy