Delhi Daredevils hopes to change its fortunes at home

With six games on the trot to be played at home, the team can still, theoretically, make it to the top-four, provided it wins all the remaining games and the other results go its way as well.

Karun Nair will continue to be the stand in captain in absence of regular skipper Zaheer Khan, who did not play on Sunday either and is yet to recover from a hamstring strain sustained against KKR.   -  R. V. Moorthy

Delhi Daredevils is back in familiar territory and the team management and fans would not be too happy about it. Bottom-placed among the eight teams with more than half the 10th season of the IPL gone, the perpetual underachiever is back home for its remaining games, starting with Sunrisers Hyderabad on Tuesday.

The chances of it missing the play-offs yet again are quite high. The season was touted as one where DD’s incredible bowling would help it advance in the tournament but that has not exactly happened. It has had more to do with the disappointing batting — that culminated in an all-time low total of 67 all out in its last match on tour against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday and a 10-wicket defeat — that has provided the bowling fire-power very little to defend.

The good thing for DD is that there is no travel left for it. With six games on the trot to be played at home, the team can still, theoretically, make it to the top-four, provided it wins all the remaining games and the other results go its way as well. But the team hasn’t given the confidence it can do that.

There is no doubt about the talent in DD batting but the lack of experience and proven match-winners has let it down. The younger lot of Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant, Karun Nair, Shreyas Iyer and Sam Billings has been far too inconsistent. DD has already lost Billings for the rest of the tournament, the opener flying back for England’s upcoming series against Ireland. The team was dealt a bigger blow after captain Zaheer Khan was ruled out of Tuesday’s game.

Zaheer, who did not play on Sunday either, is yet to recover from a hamstring strain sustained against KKR with Karun continuing to be the stand in captain. SRH, on the other hand, would come into the game on a high following a comfortable 48-run victory against KKR and all its big names ready and available.

Hyderabad has come good through the tournament, in every department. Captain David Warner has led from the front, his devastating century in the previous game propelling him to the top of the run-scorers’ list and the orange cap. Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson, Yuvraj Singh have all got runs and played match-winners.

Team-mate Bhuvneshwar Kumar leads the bowling charge as the top wicket-taker so far and has Afghan teen sensation Rashid Khan for company in the top-five. Ashish Nehra, Siddarth Kaul and Basil Thampi have done well too, specially in the death overs.

DD coach Rahul Dravid had admitted that his team was better than what they managed against KXIP. Against a well-rounded team as SRH, DD would have to improve by miles to prove him right.

The pitch at Ferozeshah Kotla is supposed to be low and slow but the Mohali pitch was similar, and DD batsmen fell to wrong shot selection there. That has, sadly, been its story all through, all over again.