An unwanted record looms for Delhi Daredevils. No team in the IPL has lost 12 matches in a row; Daredevils are on the doorstep with 11 defeats. Against Kings XI Punjab’s dynamic seamers and yet-to-fire-properly batsmen, in conditions that will be swing-friendly, Daredevils’ resolve to arrest the slide will be severely tested.
Only two of those losses have come this season but despite Daredevils being a massively rejigged team, the manner in which they lost could potentially bring that familiar cloud of depression back over their heads. JP Duminy saw positives in the one-run loss in Chennai, but when the team let the game against Rajasthan Royals slip, “heartbreak” was being mentioned. Daredevils need to beat that feeling because, in both previous matches, they have held their own for majority of the game.
Kings XI have no such problems. They are slowly warming up into the tournament and are quietly waiting on the Glenn Maxwell/David Miller’s day out.
Watch out for…
Johnson v Yuvraj: A rip-snorter from Mitchell Johnson in Pune 18 months ago was perhaps the first sign of Yuvraj Singh’s decline. The batsman edged the bouncer to Phillip Hughes, the wicketkeeper. The next time he came in to bat, he was bounced out again, for a duck. In his next innings, he left a gap so wide between his bat and pad that Johnson could have bowled with a football and still hit the stumps. Another duck. Yuvraj only played six more ODIs after that. The way he is handling bouncers this time, expect Johnson to steam in the moment he arrives.
Daredevils’ legspinners, Amit Mishra and Imran Tahir, have added much-needed bite to their bowling and since the two are slightly different, batsmen can’t apply the same rule to them. Mishra, slower of the two, relies on flight and turn, the conventional methods, while Tahir is skiddy and uses the googly more frequently. The two have already picked up eight wickets between them and will test left-handers and right-handers alike.
Stats and trivia
With 1133 runs, David Miller is the second-highest run-scorer for Kings XI Punjab. The top-scorer, Shaun Marsh with 1973 runs, doesn’t find a place in the XI
Yuvraj Singh has scored 86 runs in his six previous IPL outings in Pune. However, in his previous match at the ground, he was Man of the Match for his 136 in the first innings of Punjab’s Ranji Trophy tie against Maharashtra
Amit Mishra has been hit for 108 sixes in the IPL, the most for any bowler
“It has been a really good experience so far playing under pressure, two close games in two outings. So that adds to your experience.”
Delhi Daredevils batsman Shreyas Iyer
“They swung the ball last year as well and there is no difference there, but they have definitely added some more pace to their bowling. The wickets are definitely helping them.”
Mitchell Johnson on Kings XI Punjab’s new-ball pair of Sandeep Sharma and Anureet Singh