DD who had a winning start to the tournament when they beat KKR four days ago are likely to find it hard to keep the momentum from that win, after such a long hiatus from playing action. As ever, their batting stars led by Sehwag and including the likes of Jayawardene, Pietersen and Taylor will seek to dominate the rival attack and in Unmukt Chand, they have another useful batsman capable of adapting to changing team requirements.
In the bowling department, DD have four new ball operators who would find the local wicket conditions to their liking, in the form of Morkel, Yadav, Pathan and Agarkar. Irfan Pathan in particular could be the man to watch out for in moist conditions likely to aid swing. His ability to provide early breakthroughs added to his more than useful batting could make him crucial to DD’s fortunes on Friday.
Auckland have been over-reliant on Azhar Mahmood and once again he is likely to be the key to the way the game on Friday pans out. The side doesn’t have a batsman to drop anchor in the event of an early loss of wickets. Also, poor shot selection hastened their demise against the Titans.
In the bowling, Bates and Mills have combined well with the new ball and have been well supported by the omnipresent Mahmood. Against DD they will need early wickets if they are to have any hope of winning. Auckland will look to the former Pakistan all-rounder to wrest the initiative with the ball during the middle overs of the Delhi Innings.
DD’s better team balance should win the day for the IPL outfit but don’t expect Aces to go down without a fight.
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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.