Daredevils look to end 10-match losing spree versus Royals

” Ajinkya Rahane, Kerala’s wicketkeeper-batsman protege Sanju Samson, Karun Nair, Watson, Steven Smith and Indian all-rounder Stuart Binny are expected to score much of the runs. ”

New Delhi, April 11 (IANS):   After narrowly going down by a mere one run in their opening Indian Premier League (IPL) match, Delhi Daredevils will look to open their account when they face Rajasthan Royals in a league match at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Sunday.

Having won only five of 30 matches in the last two editions, Daredevils extended their losing streak to 10 when they suffered the heart-breaking loss against Chennai Super Kings on Thursday.

On Sunday, it will be a big challenge for them to end their ignominous run. They face a side that is brimming with confidence after beating last year’s runners-up Kings XI Punjab in their opener.

Daredevils have a bowling attack to challenge and trouble the best batsmen in business. The onus therefore lies on their batsmen to deliver what is expected of them.

South African Albie Morkel — the most-capped T20 cricketer in the world – will look to carry on the form he showcased in the match against CSK, and they will need the two left-handers in the middle — skipper Jean-Paul Duminy of South Africa and Yuvraj Singh — to come to the party too.

They fielded an interesting bowling lineup against CSK, leaving out the experienced Zaheer Khan and Mohammed Shami. It will be interesting to see if they can find a place for either speedster in the XI.

South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir (1/27) and pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile (3/30) justified their selection in the last match.

considering only four foreigners are allowed to play, Daredevils management will also find it difficult to exclude one of them in favour of ace Sri Lankan all-rounder Angelo Mathews, who missed the Chennai match due to political issues.

Mathews has shown that he is a high-utility cricketer who is good in batting and bowling under any conditions and situations.

Shane Watson-led Royals will be high on confidence and can also take heart from their 4-0 record in the last two editions against 2011 World Cup winning coach Gary Kirsten-guided Daredevils.

In their last match in Pune on Friday, low-key domestic cricketer Deepak Hooda and Australian all-rounder James Faulkner rescued them. Though it speaks about their depth, Royals, mentored by former Indian captain Rahul Dravid, have quality batsmen who will be eager to prove their mettle.

Ajinkya Rahane, Kerala’s wicketkeeper-batsman protege Sanju Samson, Karun Nair, Watson, Steven Smith and Indian all-rounder Stuart Binny are expected to score much of the runs.

In Faulkner, New Zealander Tim Southee, South African Chris Morris, Dhawal Kulkarni and Binny — all of them played the last match — they have a potent pace bowling line-up and along with leggie Pravin Tambe, they will hope to torture Daredevils at Kotla.