Delhi Daredevils (DD) and Mumbai Indians (MI) will square-off in Match 17 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 on Saturday. The venue is Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi. DD, though not a very strong team on paper, have performed reasonably well in the tournament. After losing the first game, they convincingly won their next two clashes. Daredevils will now face Mumbai Indians, one of the top teams in IPL history. Having won two matches on a trot, Delhi are high on confidence and are expected to give Mumbai some fierce competition. Both the teams beat a tough opposition Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their last encounter. Bhaskar Narayan takes you through the likely XI of the host team Delhi.
Top-order: Quinton de Kock is in sizzling form. He hit a beautiful hundred in the last clash against RCB which was after he had scored a quickfire half century against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). He will open the innings with Shreyas Iyer, and Sanju Samson will come at No. 3. Shreyas was a little unfortunate against RCB as he was caught at the ropes by a superb effort by Shane Watson and David Wiese. Taking into consideration the class of Shreyas and his destructive batting abilities, it is unlikely for DD to drop him. Samson will give some stability to the side if Delhi lose an early wicket. He has not performed to his full potential in the tournament but he is still expected to make it to the playing XI.
Middle-order: Karun Nair will bat in the middle order with JP Duminy and Carlos Brathwaite. Karun made a valuable contribution of an unbeaten 54 in the last match. Duminy did not get an opportunity to bat against KXIP. He faced just five balls scoring seven in DD’s last game against RCB carrying his bat through the innings as he took his team home. Hard hitting batsman Carlos Brathwaite will come at No. 6. However, DD may prefer promoting him a place up if they require some quick runs. Brathwaite can be extremely dangerous at death. The final of T20 World Cup 2016 bears testimony to this proposition.
Bowling: Chris Morris went wicketless but gave only 29 runs in the last match. Morris has been very economical in the league. He has given only 5.75 runs on an average in the previous three games. Pawan Negi with his left-arm spin will give good support to leg-break bowler Amit Mishra. Skipper Zaheer Khan will open the bowling with Morris while Mohammed Shami will be the first change. Zaheer may pick Imran Tahir ahead of Shami if the pitch appears to be very spin-friendly but then they will have to drop one among de Kock, Duminy, Brathwaite or Morris. Dropping Brathwaite or Duminy will weaken the batting, and de Kock and Morris are in sparkling touch. Further, batting all-rounder Duminy has got little chance to bat. Thus, it will not be reasonable to replace him with Tahir unless the track supports spin in a big way.
Delhi Daredevils’ likely XI: Quinton de Kock (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Karun Nair, JP Duminy, Carlos Braithwate, Chris Morris, Pawan Negi, Amit Mishra, Zaheer Khan (c), Mohammed Shami