New Delhi, May 11 (IANS) Already out of contention for the Indian Premier League (IPL) play-offs, bottom-placed Delhi Daredevils will attempt to end the season on a bright note when they face laggards Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Ferozshah Kotla here on Saturday.
The RCB are currently at the penultimate spot in the points table after managing to win just three of their 10 outings so far and need to win each of their remaining four games to stand any remote chances of qualifying for the play-offs.
On the other hand, Delhi’s hopes of qualifying were on Thursday dashed by table-toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad, who chased down a challenging 188 losing the solitary wicket of opener Alex Hales at the Ferozshah Kotla.
Young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, whose maiden IPL century went in vain against the Hyderabad side, has been the lone shining light for the Daredevils this season.
On Saturday, Delhi will once again hope to entertain the fans with fireworks from the southpaw’s blade, even as skipper Shreyas Iyer, Prithvi Shaw and Jason Roy missed the party last night.
Pacer Harshal Patel, who was promoted up the order showed great maturity in resurrecting Delhi’s innings with Pant but it will be interesting to see if head coach Ricky Ponting still wants to pursue with misfiring Glenn Maxwell, whose dismal run in the tournament have been a headache for the side.
With nothing to lose, Delhi is expected to test their bench. In such a scenario, the likes of Manjot Kalra, Gurkeerat Mann Singh, Sayan Ghosh and Junior Dala may get a look-in.
Delhi’s bowling on a flat Kotla wicket was massacred by the Sunrisers duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson and will be hoping for a better effort from the likes of Trent Boult and Co.
Meanwhile, it will be a homecoming for RCB skipper Virat Kohli, who has been in good nick this season and would want to maintain his side’s superior record over Delhi in head-to-head encounters. RCB have so far won 12 games against Delhi’s seven in IPL history.
Besides Kohli, the onus of piling up a mammoth score will be on South African stars AB de Villiers and Quinton de Kock, New Zealander Colin de Grandhomme while stumper Parthiv Patel and Mandeep Singh can also add to the fireworks.
The bowling department will be headed by pacemen Umesh Yadav and Tim Southee while leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and offie Washington Sundar can be handy options in the middle overs.
Delhi Daredevils: Jason Roy, Gautam Gambhir, Rishabh Pant (WK), Glenn Maxwell, Shreyas Iyer (Captain), Vijay Shankar, Daniel Christian, Rahul Tewatia, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mohammed Shami, Trent Boult, Chris Morris, Colin Munro, Amit Mishra, Prithvi Shaw, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Jayant Yadav, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Manjot Kalra, Abhishek Sharma, Sandeep Lamichhane, Naman Ojha, Sayan Ghosh, Liam Plunkett.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (Captain), Quinton de Kock (WK), Brendon McCullum, AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Chris Woakes, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Colin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali, Pawan Negi, Mohammed Siraj, Corey Anderson, Parthiv Patel, Tim Southee.