Mumbai Indians travel to the Indian capital to take on Delhi Daredevils in the first of two games to be played in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Sunday. The match will take place at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in Delhi.
Where to Watch Live
Play starts at 11am BST. Catch the highlights of the game on ITV 4 and ITV 4 HD at 10pm BST. Follow the match live, via text updates, on ESPN Cricinfo.
Last season the Daredevils finished on top in the group stages. This year they seem destined to finish without a win. The team from the capital have lost all six of their games so far, in what must be the worst ever start, by any franchise, to the IPL.
And to add insult to injury, the Daredevils were hammered by the visiting Chennai Super Kings in midweek; the two-time IPL champions ran out 86-run victors to cement their place in the top four.
MS Dhoni's men came to Delhi determined to make amends for the shock defeat they suffered in their last match - Pune Warriors beat them by 24 runs. And the result was never in doubt from the very first ball. The Super Kings' Michael Hussey led the way with 65 from 50 balls and typically swashbuckling innings from the Indian pair of Suresh Raina and Dhoni (who combined for 74 from 55 balls) allowed the visitors to post a strong 169/4.
And after young seamer Mohit Sharma struck twice in the second over of the Daredevils' innings, the challenge was broken. The 21-year-old finished with 3/10 and an all-round superb performance from the Super Kings' bowlers - Ravichandran Ashwin picked up 2/18 and Albie Morkel, Chris Morris, Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja were also among the wickets - meant the Daredevils could only manage 83 in reply.
The defeat left Mahela Jayawardene's side last in the table and barring an absolutely miraculous second half of the season, unlikely to qualify for the knock-out stages.
Meanwhile, and ominously for the Daredevils, Mumbai Indians also come to Delhi with a point to prove. The IPL powerhouse slumped to an embarrassing 87 run defeat to 2008 champions Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur. A side boasting the batting talents of Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Kieron Pollard, in addition to local talent like Ambati Rayudu, Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik could muster only 92 in reply to the Royals' 179/3.
The hosts, led by former Indian Test batting star Rahul Dravid, rode on a massive 68 from 54 balls by India youngster Ajinkya Rahane, as well as contributions from Shane Watson, Brad Hodge and Dishant Yagnik. And Australian seamer James Faulkner's 3/16 and Ajit Chandila's 2/6 left their visitors with a bit of egg on their face.
The defeat saw Mumbai slip to fifth in the table but with games in hand over all the sides above them, don't count Ponting and his men out just yet.
- Last Five (most recent first): L L L L L
- Last Result: Delhi Daredevils lost to Chennai Super Kings by 86 runs
- Last Five (most recent first): L W W W L
- Last Result: Rajasthan Royals beat Mumbai Indians by 87 runs
It is no secret the Daredevils miss England international Kevin Pietersen, who has been ruled out of the entire tournament with an injury. In addition, the news New Zealand all-rounder Jesse Ryder - because of a violent bar attack - cannot have helped matters.
The capital side still does have a decent amount of batting power, with openers David Warner and Virender Sehwag more than capable hands in a Twenty20 game. And with the experienced Sri Lankan Jayawardene leading the team and coming in at No 3, runs ought not to be a problem. Unfortunately, though, they are. Warner has had a couple of big innings, as has Jayawardene, but neither has been consistent. Sehwag is returning from injury and is in the midst of a run of very poor form. Youngster Kedhar Jadhav has had a couple of decent innings but he too needs to find consistency to hit the big numbers.
Mumbai will pray the opening partnership of Ponting and Tendulkar fires sooner rather than later. But the immediate worry will be the form of West Indian slugger Pollard, who has an aggregate of only 95 so far this IPL. Is he batting too far down to be an effective hitter? Mumbai may gamble on pushing him up the order for this game, particularly with Rohit Sharma failing in the last game.
Meanwhile, Lasith Malinga has yet to get going for the side. The Sri Lankan is usually unplayable but has been uncharacteristically quiet so far this tournament; he has been economical though. Australian Mitchell Johnson has been the primary wicket-taker for Mumbai so far, with 2/49 against the Daredevils in Mumbai.