Mumbai: At the bottom of the points table after losing the first two games, the Delhi Daredevils will have to raise their game considerably when they take on high-flying debutants Pune Warriors in their Indian Premier League match on Sunday.
The Daredevils, led by swashbuckling opener Virender Sehwag, need to get their act together after two straight losses to Mumbai Indians at home and Rajasthan Royals at Jaipur to score their first points in the Twenty20 event.
Fielding more or less the same eleven in the first two games, Delhi have been thrashed by eight and six wickets respectively after failing to put up a competitive total and it is in this department that they would like to turn things around immediately.
For this to happen, their top-heavy line-up needs to fire strongly and none more than Sehwag who has tallied 23 runs in the first two matches. He needs to bat for most number of overs for the Daredevils to set a challenging score or chase a stiff target.
The only batsmen to show some sort of form have been diminutive opener David Warner, unheralded wicketkeeper batsman Naman Ojha and Venugopal Rao.
The twin failures of Sehwag have cost the team dear and the Warriors bowlers know that by dismissing the dasher cheaply they can put enormous pressure on the rest of the batting line-up.
In bowling too, Ashok Dinda seems a lightweight proposition to open it with the gangling South African Morne Morkel and it would be a huge surprise if 21-year-old Varun Aaron, considered among the fastest bowlers in the country, is again benched.
Unmukt Chand and Aaron Finch have also not utilised their chances in batting and could give way to some others. Table toppers Pune, on the other hand, are sitting pretty after winning both their first two home games and are the only unbeaten side so far in the tournament - with a measure of comfort.
The bowlers, especially, have delivered the goods by restricting rivals Kings XI Punjab and Kochi Tuskers Kerala to below 150.
If Alphonso Thomas and Shrikant Wagh got among the wickets in the opening tie against Kings XI, South African Wayne Parnell joined the fun in the second match against the Tuskers with a superb initial burst.
But they, as well as skipper Yuvraj Singh, know that in Sehwag and Warner, Delhi have two explosive openers who could take the game away in no time. The bowling needs to be as straight as possible in the first six overs of Power Play.