Match 36 Preview: Kochi Tuskers Kerala v Delhi Daredevils

Delhi Daredevils meets Kochi Tuskers to gain some pride and develop some faith among all that they can also get in the big race, contrary to the belief that they are set to be knocked out much before they approach end of group match.

There is no history between them. Kochi is fresher, while DD is two-time semifinalists. In the current tournament both have much to worry. DD is almost permanently positioned at last place, while Kochi, after winning three big matches, have suddenly been going down.

2011 Performances
When Kochi played their first match, they went on to score the highest score of the tournament, scoring 161/5. But Bangalore batsmen chased it. Even Pune Warriors defeated them in the same fashion. But, against Mumbai Indians they realised their batting strength and decided to chase, and earned their first victory. Against Chennai Super Kings also they earned easy victory chasing a high score. Against Knight Riders, Kochi bowlers earned a remarkable victory defending low target. Kochi batsmen failed miserably in the absence of Brendum McCullum and Rajasthan Royals thumped them. Against Deccan Chargers, they reached another low by scoring third lowest total of IPL and losing the match, which they should have won.

Delhi Daredevils had their own problem. First Mumbai Indians sent them to school by blowing them away with Malinga Special that led DD score their second below 100 score in IPL. When it appeared against Royals they will have some clue, Warne’s boys also scored clinical thumping victory. Being at bottom, when hopes were about to shatter completely, Daredevils registered emphatic victory over tournament topper Pune Warriors India. But against Deccan Chargers, they played an ordinary game and lost due to poor bowling. But against the rampant Kings XI, DD won the high-scoring match. But, when they were expected to surge ahead, they lost the see-saw battle against RCB. They lost another close battle against KKR when their batsmen succumbed in the low chase.

Player’s Performance
Kochi’s player’s performance index shows McCullum, Jadeja, Hodge and captain Mahela in tremendous forum. Even Hodge has joined the 100-club now, and Parthiv Patel is just 3-run short of reaching triple figure. Bowlers had a decent performance with 27 wickets in 7 matches.

For Delhi, player’s performance index is showing improvement. Warner, Venugopal and Sehwag are in the 200-club, while Hopes has entered 100-run club now. Other batsmen are still to give good scores. Their bowlers have been disappointing so far, with just 32 wickets taken in 7 matches. Their batsmen are turning are also not showing the steel which a Sehwag led team should show.

Who Will Win Today!!
Delhi Daredevils can take benefit of the home pressure of Kochi who have some very poor losses in front of a home crowd, including the last game where they could not even reach triple figure. Kochi’s batting depth and form is is better than what Delhi has. Even Kochi bowling has shown lot of improment while Daredevils bowling has nothing much to show in their report card of last 7 matches.

Key Battles
Sehwag vs Kochi Bowlers
Sehwag is the key, if Delhi has to win. Only a big score from him can get them the high runs on board where their wayward bowlers can somehow save the game. Sehwag may shine considering his more responsible approach towards his batting seeing that his team’s batting is not clicking, except the game against Kings XI.

McCullum vs Morkel
McCullum has won some good matches for Kochi. He is the highest scorer in an inning of IPL also. But in the last few matches he has got out cheaply. Morkel is the key bowler who will be assigned the job to take out McCullum. If that happens Delhi is in for a good chance. Otherwise none can save them.

Jadeja vs Venugopal
Both players have been good revelation of Indian player’s strength. Both are searching a place in India XI and both have shown some good performance, specially Jadeja whose sixes have been the talk of the IPL. Their team’s middle order depends on them and one of them will be the key to their team’s victory today.

Kochi Tuskers Kerala Squad
Batsman: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Michael Klinger, Brendon McCullum (WK), Owais Shah, VVS Laxman, Kedar Jadhav, Chandan Madan, Parthiv Patel (WK), Yashpal Singh
Allrounder: John Hastings, Brad Hodge, Steve O’Keefe, Thisara Perera, Steven Smith, Ravindra Jadeja,
Bowlers: Muttiah Muralitharan, Sreesanth, Ramesh Powar, RP Singh, Vinay Kumar, Balachandra Akhil, Balachandra Akhil, Deepak Chougule, Gnaneswara Rao, Raiphi Gomez, Sushant Marathe, Prasanth Padmanabhan, Tanmay Srivastava

DD Squad
Batsman: Sehwag (Captain), Aaron Finch, Colin Ingram, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Naman Ojha (WK)
Allrounder: Travis Birt, Robert Frylinck, James Hopes, Irfan Pathan, Venugopal Rao
Bowlers: Morne Morkel, Andrew McDonald, Roelof van der Merwe, Ajit Agarkar, Varun Aaron, Robin Bist, Unmukt Chand, Ajit Chandila, Ashok Dinda, Shahbaz Nadeem, Yogesh Nagar, Prashant Naik, Rajesh Pawar, Aavishkar Salvi, Sridharan Sriram, Vikas Mishra, Tejashwi Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Vivek Yadav

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