Only pride will be at stake when Delhi Daredevils host embattled Royal Challengers Bangalore in an inconsequential IPL game here tomorrow with both teams seeking an end to their misfiring campaign on a positive note. Both franchises are already out of reckoning for play-offs berths following a forgettable season. While inconsistency has been the Delhi Daredevils bane, Royal Challengers Bangalore endured horror run in the landmark 10th edition of the cash-rich T20 extravaganza.
Even as the Daredevils shocked Rising Pune Supergiants by seven runs in their last match, at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Royal Challengers Bangalore were made to bite the dust by Kolkata Knight Riders in their last game. RCB are languishing at the bottom of the table with just two wins and 10 defeats after 13 matches, Daredevils are placed a shade better at sixth position with six victories and seven losses in as many games as their beleaguered opponents.
Star-studded RCB’s captain Virat Kohli has “embraced” what has been a disastrous season, saying his team would learn from the mistakes and move on. Kohli, who smashed a record-shattering 973 runs last year including four centuries, managed, barely 250 runs this season. It was a remarkable dip by his own standards.
He missed the first three games to recover from a shoulder injury and the tide did not turn for good even after his return. Big-hitting opener Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers were major disappointments as was Shane Watson, who conceded it was his worst IPL season ever.
Life has come full circle for the Australian all-rounder who was an integral part of Rajasthan Royals’ triumphant campaign in the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2008. As has often been the case, Delhi Daredevils’ fortunes fluctuated through the tournament, yet again missing out on a play-off berth.
Youngsters such as Rishabh Pant – he had joined the team hours after his father breathed his last – Sanju Samson and Shreyas Iyer flourished in patches, giving the team’s success-starved fans something to cheer about, albeit occasionally.
Karun Nair found some form going his way in the last game and he would look to capitalise on it, and Pant too would like to add to his impressive tally. The seasoned Zaheer Khan, who led his unit admirably despite defending a not-so- formidable total in the last game against a batting-heavy Rising Pune Supergiant, would want another disciplined outing from his bowlers.
Delhi Daredevils: Zaheer Khan (captain), Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant (wk), Karun Nair, Mohammed Shami, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jayant Yadav, Pat Cummins, Amit Mishra, Aditya Tare, Shahshank Singh, Khaleel Ahmed, Navdeep Saini, Marlon Samuels, Carlos Brathwaite, Murugan Ashwin, Corey Anderson, Ben Hilfenhaus, Ankit Bawne, Pratyush Singh.
RCB: Virat Kohli (captain), Chris Gayle, Shane Watson, Samuel Badree, Stuart Binny, Yuzvendra Chahal, Aniket Chaudhary, Praveen Dubey, Travis Head, Harpreet Bhatia, Tymal Mills, Iqbal Abdulla, Kedar Jadhav, Mandeep Singh, Pawan Negi, Adam Milne, Harshal Patel, Billy Stanlake.