The momentousness of the half-way mark in a season has never been understated.
For some, it’s an opportunity to build on the early gains and lay more stones to strengthen the developing edifice; a few others will be teased by the prospect of approaching glory and yet last-minute heartbreaks will uncomfortably lurk in the shadows.
The rest, Delhi Daredevils will instantly recognise this, are looking to provide a context to their campaign and may still cross the Rubicon with assistance from the untrustworthy dame that is luck.
Coming off its first success of the season against Mumbai Indians, the host will face an unpredictable opponent in Kings XI Punjab at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Tuesday.
Six defeats on the trot shook DD to the core but there’s no greater panacea to such crisis than a thunderous knock by Virender Sehwag.
Just in time
Thankfully for Mahela Jayawardene’s men, it arrived just in time. With nine matches to go, DD will probably need to win eight of them to make the playoffs.
A 100% winning record from now will lessen the uncertainty of progression.
But really, even if we were to not acknowledge the fickle nature of T20 cricket for once, it’s an improbable task.
One victory shouldn’t generate bounteous optimism. As they say, the league table never lies. DD is still bottom.
KXIP received a strong dose of morale on Sunday too, a thrilling penultimate-ball win over Pune Warriors India elevating it to the fifth spot.
A middling side
Sandwiched between two blocks of four teams each, Gilchrist’s team is essentially a middling side.
Despite a couple of impressive knocks by Mandeep Singh and David Miller against PWI, the batsmen are yet to produce a convincing display as a unit.
The team has scored more than 150 only twice this season, albeit it had to chase only 100 in its season opener at Pune.
With skipper Gilchrist continuing to misfire, his place among the four foreign players in the playing eleven is no longer safe.
KXIP has preferred to pick an overseas bowler over a batsman in matches outside Mohali but Miller’s heroics on Sunday may prompt a change in the team’s strategy henceforth.