Mohali: After going down to Rising Pune Supergiants in their last match, Delhi Daredevils will aim to bounce back when they take on bottom-placed Kings XI Punjab in an Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter here on Saturday.
The Daredevils’ attempt to make four changes in the side, including leaving out skipper Zaheer Khan, on Thursday did not pay off against an inspired all-round effort from the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Pune side, which clinched the tie by seven wickets.
Despite the loss, Delhi still have the upper hand in Friday’s match against a struggling Kings XI Punjab, who are languishing at the bottom of the table with just two wins from eight outings.
Placed at the third spot in the table with five wins from eight, Daredevils will once again bank on their horses-for-courses strategy, with the top players likely to return to the side for the match. The team has either rested or replaced all its players except the trio of leg-spinner Amit Mishra, keeper-batsman Sanju Samson and top-order batsman Karun Nair in its eight matches so far.
Delhi would hope that Zaheer gets back into action quickly as he has managed to get early breakthroughs and has been impressive in the death overs in some of the matches.
Another man who was missed is batting mainstay Quinton De Kock, who has been scoring runs consistently. De Kock was given a much-needed rest so that he could cope with the gruelling schedule.
Youngsters Samson and Rishabh Pant will need to play big knocks to make an impact.
On the other hand, the Kings XI Punjab side have neither shown stomach for a fight nor any kind of proper homework to take on the opposition. Replacing David Miller as skipper of the side, have done little wonders to the fortune of the side in the tournament which they would hope for on Saturday.
Punjab’s new skipper Murali Vijay, who played with three foreign recruits in their last match against the Kolkata Knight Riders, would also hope South African Hashim Amla’s inclusion in the playing eleven to boost the batting, which has failed to click as a unit in the tournament so far.