Delhi Daredevils more than equipped to make an impression
If 20 overs of high voltage action is squeezed into the tight corset of the T20 format, the thrills may be many, but more so the spills.
This edition of the IPL has sprung its share of surprises already, with last-placed Pune Warriors India stunning Chennai Super Kings on the latter’s home turf. So did Delhi Daredevils — now precariously positioned just one rung above Pune — inflict a nine-wicket shocker on Mumbai Indians.
David Warner had demolished the Deccan Chargers attack last year at this very ground, posting an unconquered 109, albeit in the absence from the firing line of a certain Dale Steyn.
More recently, the stocky southpaw tore into reigning champion Kolkata Knight Riders in another destructive display.
Interestingly, the Sunrisers’ brain-trust seems ready with contingency plans for big hitters such as Chris Gayle and Sachin Tendulkar, which have blunted the batting prowess of these seasoned bowling slayers.
Such a stratagem could well be lying in wait for Warner as Sunrisers host the Daredevils on Saturday.
Steve Waugh had once said Tom Moody’s hunger to win was huge. That appetite seems alive and well, given the way he’s been able to get the best out of his boys in a relatively new side with a few remnants from a painful past.
To the Hyderabad side, over which hung the hoodoo of diffident defeat for many matches in a row, the recent run of success imbues an aura of invincibility, especially on home turf.
Going by the run-up of both squads to Saturday’s encounter, execution of plans and team morale, the dice seems loaded in the host’s favour.
At an event on the contest’s eve, the Sunrisers’ announced a partnership with RN Sports to source talented youngsters from the rural hinterland.
V.V.S. Laxman, who led the Chargers in the IPL’s maiden edition, cited Paidikalva Vijay Kumar as the perfect example of a talented speedster from Kadapa, an arid region, cricket and otherwise.
“He was season one’s highest wicket-taker, but injury sidelined him in the next,” the Sunrisers’ mentor recalled.
Although a prolific bowler for Andhra in the Ranji Trophy, Vijay has vanished from the IPL radar, after that promising debut.