New Delhi: It will be a clash of two in-form teams when Delhi Daredevils host Gujarat Lions in an Indian Premier League (IPL) tie at the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Gujarat have enjoyed a superb start to their debut season, winning four of their five matches to be placed second on the table with eight points. They have the same number of points as table toppers Kolkata Knight Riders.
Delhi are two points behind in third place. The Daredevils have been equally impressive, winning three of the four matches they have played so far.
Led by Zaheer Khan, the Daredevils have done well as a unit. Opener Quinton de Kock has been in good form. The South African star has the ability to play the big shots and perk up the run rate, and can also play a long innings when required.
Delhi also have several talented young batsmen like Shreyas Iyer, Karun Nair, Sanju Samson, Pawan Negi, and Mayank Agarwal, while J.P. Duminy has been in good form in the lower-middle order. West Indies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite also has the ability to produce the big hits.
Among the bowlers, pacer Mohammed Shami and leg-spinner Amit Mishra have done well. Although Zaheer has not been in his best form, the likes of Chris Morris, Imran Tahir and Nathan Coulter-Nile offer several strong candidates in the bowling department.
Gujarat are also have a strong batting line-up with the likes of Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Aaron Finch, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Bravo, Dale Steyn, Dinesh Karthik, James Faulkner and Dwayne Smith.
Finch had struck three back-to-back half centuries in the first three games, although his opening combination with McCullum was not a success. In the last match against Royal Challengers Bangalore. The Gujarat think tank tried a new opening combination in McCullum and Smith which proved to be a good move as the duo added a quick partnership of 47 runs.
Gujarat's Indian players like Pravin Tambe, Praveen Kumar, and Akshdeep Nath have also done well. In the bowling department, left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati has not been among the wickets and may find himself out of the playing XI.
Delhi Daredevils: Zaheer Khan (captain), Amit Mishra, Shreyas Iyer, Mohammed Shami,Shahbaz Nadeem, Mayank Agarwal, Jayant Yadav, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Imran Tahir, JP Duminy, Quinton de Kock, Pawan Negi, Chris Morris, Sanju Samson, Carlos Brathwaite, Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant, Sam Billings, Chama Milind, Pratyush Singh, Mahipal Lomror, Saeed Khaleel Ahmed, Akhil Herwadkar, Pawan Suyal.
Gujarat Lions: Suresh Raina (captain), Brendon McCullum, Dinesh Karthik, Aaron Finch, Dwayne Smith, Dwayne Bravo, James Faulkner, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Pravin Tambe, Dale Steyn, Praveen Kumar, Pradeep Sangwan, Andrew Tye, Akshdeep Nath, Paras Dogra, Eklavya Dwivedi, Ishan Kishan, Shadab Jakati, Shivil Kaushik, Sarabjit Ladda, Jaydev Shah, Umang Sharma.