New Delhi : Bruised and battered after a string of defeats, Delhi Daredevils find themselves in an ‘oh-so-familiar’ situation as they seek home comfort against a Chris Gayle-inspired Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League, here on Monday.
Without an iota of doubt, the Daredevils have been the least impressive of all teams in the past few seasons of the cash-rich extravaganza, only managing to finish at the bottom half of the pecking order.
In the last two seasons, the Daredevils ended their campaign at sixth position, were a place down in 2015 and finished last the year before, in 2014.
The story has been similar in the ongoing edition as they struggle with fours reverses from five outings to occupy the last place.
They were done in by the versatile AB de Villiers’ smashing knock last night and up next at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Daredevils will be up against the destructive Gayle, who has made a statement with two fifties and century, scoring those runs in his trademark style.
Thanks to Gayle’s belligerence, Kings XI Punjab are firmly placed at the top of the order with four victories and a solitary defeat.
Given the form they have shown in the previous encounters, Kings XI Punjab will fancy their chances to continue the momentum against an embattled Delhi Daredevils outfit.
Royal Challengers Bangalore chasing down a target of 175 with two overs to spare, is more of a reflection of Deredevils’ poor team selection rather than helplessness.
To start with, they lost to Kings XI Punjab in their away game, were then subjected to a humiliating defeat by Kolkata Knight Riders, emerged second best against Rajasthan Royals under the Duckworth/Lewis method and faced another reverse at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Delhi Daredevils’ only victory has come against Mumbai Indians when English opener Jason Roy and the dynamic Rishabh Pant fired.
In fact, wicketkeeper Pant has been their best batsman this season with 223 runs from five games.
Returning to his home city franchise, skipper Gautam Gambhir would look to get his scoring touch back, after a hugely successful stint at Kolkata Knight Riders.
So is the case with the big-hitting Australian Glenn Maxwell, while Shreyas Iyer, who scored a brisk half century against RCB, would look to continue in same vein.
Delhi’s bowling has been an issue with Mohammed Shami off colour.
Trent Boult had decent figures in all the matches but likes of Shahbaz Nadeem, Mohammed Shami have flattered to deceive.
The logic of playing Vijay Shankar is still not clear as the team management is not able to send him up the order for lack of power in his shots. Even more baffling is the fact that he has not been called upon to bowl in four of the five games.