The talking point for the upcoming Delhi-Pune clash will undoubtedly be the Kevin Pietersen factor.
The mad rush over fifty days called the Indian Premier League for all its glitterati fails to provide the victor with an opportunity to bask in the glory of a win, and for that matter makes it easier for the vanquished to get over the heartbreak of defeat, since the constraints of a packed schedule does not permit the luxury of wallowing in self-pity.
While the win here at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Thursday extended the winless run for the hapless Deccan Chargers, Delhi Daredevils (DD) leapfrogged Rajasthan Royals to the top of the points table with yet another successful outing, their third on the trot. Unfortunately for Pune Warriors India (PWI), who will face Delhi on Saturday, there was to be no elation at the end of their contest against Chennai Super Kings.
The talking point for the upcoming Delhi-Pune clash will undoubtedly be the Kevin Pietersen factor. The maverick England batsman, who was in the news during the recently concluded Test series against Sri Lanka because of his trademark yet controversial switch hit, was in sparkling form against Deccan, smashing 103 off 64 balls, which included nine sixes. Apart from that, the bowling of Morne Morkel and S Nadeem, who took six wickets between them on Thursday, was another bright spot for DD.
Meanwhile, PWI will feel that the game against Chennai was an opportunity lost as the team was always in the hunt during their chase of 165 for victory. West Indies allrounder Marlon Samuels, who has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons because of his bowling action, followed up his three wickets with a 24-ball 26 that turned out to be the highest score of the Pune innings.
However, the Pune Warriors will be hoping for contributions from possibly each member of its playing XI if they are to overcome Delhi, and skipper Sourav Ganguly is sure to have his hands full trying to figure out how he is going to make it Pune's day in Delhi's den.
Delhi Daredevils: 1 Naman Ojha (wk), 2 Virender Sehwag (capt), 3 Kevin Pietersen, 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Ross Taylor, 6 Irfan Pathan, 7 Yogesh Nagar, 8 Morne Morkel, 9 Umesh Yadav, 10 Varun Aaron, 11 Shahbaz Nadeem
Pune Warriors India: 1 Robin Uthappa (wk), 2 Jesse Ryder, 3 Sourav Ganguly (capt), 4 Manish Pandey, 5 Marlon Samuels, 6 Steve Smith, 7 Angelo Mathews, 8 Murali Kartik, 9 Rahul Sharma, 10 Ashish Nehra, 11 Ashok Dinda