Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014

IPL 7 Preview: Depleted Delhi Daredevils face stiff RCB challenge in Sharjah

In Kevin Pietersen's absence, Dinesh Karthik will lead Delhi Daredevils against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday. (File) In Kevin Pietersen's absence, Dinesh Karthik will lead Delhi Daredevils against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday. (File)
Written by Ankit Sinha | New Delhi | Posted: April 17, 2014 5:53 pm | Updated: April 17, 2014 6:21 pm

Indian Premier League titans Delhi Daredevils will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 7’s second match on Thursday at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah. Wednesday’s high-octane event opener between defending champions Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders was an indication that, despite being shifted to the UAE, the IPL is not an event to be underestimated. The atmosphere at Sharjah, which was one of the most electrifying hubs of cricket in the 90s, will be nothing short of phantasmagoric in tonight’s game. Here is a spotlight on the players who are expected to be the game changers in this nerve-cracking game.  (Also Read: Karthik to lead Delhi Daredevils)

Delhi Daredevils:

Dinesh Karthik -

Dinesh Karthik will be donning the Delhi Daredevils jersey for another season in the recent edition of IPL. Having started his IPL career with the Delhi franchise, the Chennai-born batsman has featured in 92 matches in which he has amassed 1,741 runs at an average of 25.23.

It is argued that Karthik’s batting stats do not justify his massive potential. However, he has been given far too many opportunities, both at the national and league level, to prove his worth.

He had a disappointing outing with India at the Asia Cup as he failed to grab the opportunity of stepping in Dhoni’s shoes as a formidable wicketkeeper-batsman.

He missed important stumping chances and also failed to convert his starts at crucial junctures. Taking his recent form into consideration, it was surprising that he was bought for a whopping 12.5 crores – the most expensive bid by Delhi Daredevils this season.

All eyes will be set on Karthik in the match, as he will have a lot to prove, yet again.

Ross Taylor -

IPL 7 marks the return of Ross Taylor in the Delhi Daredevils’ arsenal. One of the finest batsmen to emerge from New Zealand, Taylor’s natural playing style – a mixture of aggression and technical finesse – is taylor-made (pun intended!) for T20 cricket.

Since making his IPL debut for Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2008, the swashbuckling Kiwi has featured in 51 games, scoring 958 runs at an average of 25.89.

With Kevin Pietersen missing in action in DD’s opening game, the bulk of scoring will be on Taylor’s experienced shoulders. Can he make his selection count and reach 1,000 runs in IPL on Thursday? We will have to wait and watch.

Royal Challengers Bangalore -

Virat Kohli -

Given his impeccable form in recent times, it has become virtually impossible to exclude Virat Kohli from match previews.

He has scored heavily across all formats in India and overseas, proving himself to be one of the best batsmen in the world. However, he carries the additional continued…

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