A Virender Sehwag special helped Delhi Daredevils blow away Rajasthan Royals the first time around but on a roll after four successive wins, Shane Warne's men would be no pushovers when the two sides face off in the return match of the Indian Premier League in New Delhi on Wednesday . Skipper Sehwag's 34-ball 75 in Rajasthan's adopted home Ahmedabad gave Delhi a memorable win and Warne and Co would be eyeing revenge for the humiliation. It has been a dramatic turnaround for the inaugural IPL champions Rajasthan, who started off with three back-to-back losses.
It looked that the team lacked the stomach for a fight and there was also talk of Warne's waning midas touch that got them the trophy in the opening season. But the spin legend and his underdog team returned to winning ways with four successive triumphs. It has been a mixed tournament for Delhi and they don't have a very good record home record to boast of.
Their first home win came only last night when they beat the hapless Kolkata Knight Riders after tasting defeats in their opening two games.
But even this win was a result of the scintillating one-man-show put on by Australian big-hitter David Warner. The 69-ball hundred won Delhi the match but exposed the side's batting woes as well. Gautam Gambhir's team was reduced to three for 38 before Warner came to the hosts' rescue.
English import Paul Collingwood, playing his first match for the hosts, also came good with a half century but with the likes of AB de Villiers struggling, Delhi's batting relies heavily on a good start by Sehwag, whose form has taken a dip after the initial burst. On the bowling front, the pace attack has been led well by Australian Dirk Nannes in the absence of home star Ashish Nehra, who has been laid low by a rib injury. Amit Mishra's leg spin has lent the bowling line-up the required balance.
Rajasthan, on the other hand, have once again relied on team effort rather than individual brilliance. "I think it is credit to our group, it is not one particular person. I think all of us want to play better, we want to be the best cricketers we can," Warne has said. But Yusuf Pathan has still outshone his teammates with his excellent all-round show.
With home-grown talents like wicketkeeper Naman Ojha and medium pacer Siddharth Trivedi also proving their faith, Rajasthan are once again hoping to revive the magic of 2008. PTI