The Ferozshah Kotla will witness what could prove to be one of the best matches of the ongoing IPL, when hosts Delhi Daredevils take on a resurgent Mumbai Indians squad.
A win for Delhi will keep them at the the top of the table, while a Mumbai win will propel the visitors to equal points with DD, up from 7th place.
Most of their rivals have found DD’s batting strength too overpowering for comfort, with Pietersen, in particular, in devastating form. Sehwag has also regained his touch and with Jayawardene and Taylor also in DD’s ranks, MI’s bowlers will have their task cut out, especially in the absence of Malinga.
The hosts’ bowling has also been top-class with Morne Morkel outstanding. Nadeem has been the surprise package, and with a support staff comprising Pathan and Yadav, DD look by far the most balanced side of the current IPL campaign.
Tendulkar’s return to the MI squad has boosted them, especially with Franklin finding his form at the top of the order. The middle order comprising Sharma and Rayudu have also made runs when it mattered and the likes of Karthik, Pollard and Harbhajan in the lower middle order only boosts the batting that can rival DD’s on a good day.
But where MI are clearly less effective is in their bowling especially after the departure of the injured Malinga. Patel has been among the wickets and Pollard has filled in admirably into the fifth bowler’s slot. But the absence of wickets for Harbhajan and Ojha will be a worrying factor as MI contemplate their run in the second half of the tournament. Peterson has been a revelation with both bat and ball and could compensate to an extent.
DD won the reverse fixture easily and that should also give them a psychological edge. That said, the toss could prove vital to the result of the game; on a flattish wicket that has uneven bounce, the team batting first could bat their rivals out of the game, something the MI batsmen are more than capable of.
DD’s probable eleven: Sehwag, Ojha, Pietersen, Jayawardene, Taylor, Nagar, I Pathan, Morkel, Yadav, Negi, Nadeem.
MI’s probable eleven: Tendulkar, Franklin, Rayudu, Sharma, Pollard, Karthik, Peterson, H Singh, McKay, Patel, RP Singh.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.