Daredevils ready for a Royal challenge

Updated: 19 April 2008 14:14 IST

Rajasthan Royals will miss their international stalwarts as they play Delhi Daredevils at the Kotla, for the first time under lights.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) spotlight, with all its glitz and glamour, will turn to the historic Ferozshah Kotla stadium as Delhi Daredevils host Rajasthan Royals in the Twenty20 bonanza on Saturday.

Delhites will be feted to a heady cocktail of cricket and entertainment under the newly installed floodlights at the refurbished stadium.

The Daredevils, owned by GMR Group and led by powerhouse Virender Sehwag, boasts of names like Glenn McGrath and Daniel Vettori. At the other end will be the enchanting Shane Warne marshalling the underdog Royal's team.

Both teams will be playing their first match of the cash-rich league and will go all out to draw first blood.

Considered one of the weakest teams of the eight IPL franchisees, Royals' might not have many star players in its rank, but it is packed with young and fresh lads from the domestic competition and they will be out to prove a point.

For Daredevils, captain Sehwag and in-form Gautam Gambhir is one of the best opening pairs in the tournament. Sehwag is on a high after his triple century and Gambhir is fresh from his two tons in the Commonwealth Bank Series in Australia.

The duo is expected to provide a formidable start to the Daredevils' innings. The team's middle order comprises Delhi's Ranji team trio of Rajat Bhatia, Mithun Manhas and Shikhar Dhawan, who have done a commendable job this season in domestic competition. And adding Dinesh Karthik and Manoj Tiwari to the list, the Daredevils batting line-up certainly looks strong on paper.

The Daredevils' bowling attack will have the accuracy of McGrath and the guile of New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori. But they also have worries on bowling front. Nagging injuries to Pakistani Mohammed Asif and Sri Lankan Farveez Maharoof might open a chance for young and impressive Pradeep Sangwan and Yo Mahesh.

However, with teams allowed to field only four overseas recruits, it seems Daredevils' bowling department will take a bit of a knock as the management might beef up the batting line-up with overseas stars.

Royals captain and coach Warne will have a trick or two up his sleeve. His wealth of leadership experience with Hampshire and occasional stopgap stint at the helm of the Australian team will stand in good stead for the Jaipur team.

Packed with bits and pieces all-rounders, Royals' big plus will be their fielding as with an agile Mohammad Kaif in their side, the youngsters will be more then willing to throw themselves on the field.

Younis Khan's presence will be a guiding force for the Indian youngsters in the Royals' team, however, they will miss the services of South Africa captain Graeme Smith who will join the team after finishing the domestic engagements.

Englishman Dmitri Mascarenhas gives Royals' side a dynamic touch. Mascarenhas, known for his six-hitting ability will be a perfect entertainer for the T20 version.

Munaf Patel and Gujarat pacer Sidharth Trivedi will spearhead Royals' bowling attack.


Delhi Daredevils: Virender Sehwag (captain), Gautam Gambhir, Manoj Tiwari, Mohammad Asif, Daniel Vettori, Dinesh Karthik, Shoaib Malik, Glenn McGrath, AB de Villiers, Tillekeratne Dilshan, Farveez Maharoof, Rajat Bhatia, Shikhar Dhawan, Brett Geeves, Yo Mahesh, Mithun Manhas, Pradeep Sangwan, Mayank Tehlan.

Rajasthan Royals: Shane Warne (captain), Aditya Angle, Swapnil Asnodkar, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Kaif, Kamran Akmal, Sumit Khatri, Turuwar Kohli, Justin Langer, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Parag More, Morne Morkel, Pankaj Singh, Munaf Patel, Niraj Patel, Yusuf Pathan, Mahesh Rawat, Anup Revandkar, Dinesh Salunke, Jaydev Shah, Graeme Smith, Sohail Tanvir, Siddharth Trivedi, Shane Watson, Younis Khan.

Topics : Cricket
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