Delhi wants to continue its daredevilry

Two big wins in as many games, on the back of its often underestimated young batting line-up, have given Delhi Daredevils hopes of propelling itself into the top-half of the Indian Premier League (IPL) table this season.

Delhi Daredevils will be hoping for Rishabh Pant to come good against Mumbai Indians.   -  AP

Two big wins in as many games, on the back of its often underestimated young batting line-up, have given Delhi Daredevils hopes of propelling itself into the top-half of the Indian Premier League (IPL) table this season.

There is still a long way to go for that to happen but DD, for once, seems to have its fortunes in its own hands. A win in all its four remaining games here on should be enough to push it through but for that, DD has to continue with the kind of form it has stuck in recent games. The toughest trial would be on Saturday when it takes on table-topper Mumbai Indians hoping to make it a hat-trick of wins on home ground.

For that, the host would have to hope for Thursday's encore from Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson, and support from the rest of the cast including the so-far misfiring stand-in skipper Karun Nair. Shreyas Iyer, Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma's team-mate on the domestic circuit, needs to up his game as well. The good thing about Delhi's batting is that while Pant and Samson exhibited how dangerous they can be when they get going, the rest too are all capable of making handy contributions that, together, can overhaul any target, as they did chasing 186 against SRH.

Delhi would also take heart from the fact that its bowlers, despite being smashed in the middle, bounced back to restrict the rampaging Gujarat Lions towards the end of the innings. Kagiso Rabada was back on fire after a disappointing outing against SRH, Pat Cumins did well and Amit Mishra and Shahbaz Nadeem were their usual frugal self. Despite the absence of Zaheer Khan to injury and the consistently brilliant Chris Morris for inexplicable reasons, DD managed to hold its own.

Mumbai, meanwhile, has been the team to beat this season. With eight wins in 10 games, the former champion, already qualified for the playoffs, has made it clear there would be no slacking off. Sharma, Pollard and Jos Buttler have taken care of the batting while pacers Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bhumrah and Lasith Malinga and the spin duo of Harbhajan Singh and Karn Sharma have kept the opposition from scoring high. The Pandya brothers—Krunal and Hardik—have proved their worth as all-rounders, Krunal being the team's third highest wicket-taker.

What DD really needs to improve is the fielding with dropped catches and misfields allowing rival batsmen to rake up huge totals twice in as many games – first Yuvraj Singh and then Suresh Raina. MI, on the other hand, has some of the safest pair of hands.

DD has won five of the seven face-offs against MI at home. It would be hoping to extend that record on Saturday.

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