The Gujarat Lions take on the Delhi Daredevils in an inconsequential IPL 2017 game. Suneer Chowdhary previews this one with a prediction from Shruti Chopra at the very end.
Hello there & a very warm welcome to this latest episode of the World Cricket Chat and Shruti Chopra’s taken a break from her string of predictions and it’s my turn in front of the microphone. The match I am previewing is a dead rubber as far as the tournament is concerned, because both, the Gujarat Lions and the Delhi Daredevils have been knocked out of the playoffs contention, but that does not mean that it won’t count for anything as far as the respective captains, players or the owners are concerned.
As I said earlier, both teams are already out and while it’s sad to see such an early ouster for sides, the two will hopefully realise they have nobody else to blame but themselves. Some really strange tactics meant it was games before the Gujarat Lions realised they needed balance in their team and that a good bowling attack is as necessary as a decent batting line-up even in a format like this. In fact, Perth Scorchers have shown during the Big Bash League and Mumbai Indians during this edition of the IPL, that it’s a good bowling attack that will win you more T20s than a sterling batting line-up that the Lions seemed to possess on paper.
Delhi’s problem during the season belongs to the other end of the spectrum. Sure, Rahul Dravid, Paddy Upton and Zaheer Khan combined to stack up the bowling attack with quite an arsenal – what else do you call an attack that had Kagiso Rabada, Pat Cummins and Mohammad Shami leading the way at times – but they faltered badly with the bat. And the reason is simply their batting did not have the experience to hold on over so many games.
In Quinton de Kock and JP Duminy they were supposed to have that experience, but both bailed out before the tournament begun for different reasons, leaving the Delhi Daredevils to rely on Sam Billings and the Indian youngsters – barring Sanju Samson and to a lesser extent, Rishabh Pant, nobody delivered. The experienced glue that would have bound them and allowed their strong bowling attack to prosper, went missing and the management did nothing to replace it when the tournament was young enough.
Coming back to this game, what’s at stake for the two teams? Well, given that the top four is more or less decided and that the Kings XI Punjab are fighting for an outside chance to make the fourth spot, Gujarat Lions and Delhi Daredevils could well be gunning for the sixth position in the table. Unless of course, Punjab implode badly in these final three games and either Gujarat or Delhi end with a couple of wins, in which case one of them could also finish fifth.
Gujarat are coming off a sterling win over the Kolkata Knight Riders, having gone in with just three overseas players in their playing XI. But the good thing was that Dwayne Smith was back opening, batting at a spot he loves batting and he thumped his way to a 39-ball 74 that helped set up the 190-run chase. In doing so, Smith also reminded a lot of teams next auction what he’s capable of if allowed to bat at his number.
Delhi, on the other hand, cut a sorry figure in their defeat to the Mumbai Indians. First they allowed Mumbai to rake up 212 batting first and then were bowled out for 66 with their famed Indian four of Nair, Samson, Iyer and Pant failing together. Having said that, it was only a game earlier when Delhi had met Gujarat and chased down 209 in a mere 17.3 overs thanks to a Pant 97.
When you have a team that plays so brilliantly one day and so poorly the other, it’s tough to make a call on what will they do come Wednesday but here’s what Shruti has to say about it…
“It seems as if Delhi start off with the right ideas, but execution could be an issue. With Gujarat, they may need to steady their batting just a bit if they’re to make this an easier win for themselves, so yes, what I’m trying to say is, it’s tarot advantage: Gujarat Lions.”
…so that is that from me, hope to be back soon enough with another podcast previewing another IPL game but till then don’t forget to subscribe to our channel, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and don’t forget we are looking to bring you a lot of action from the Champions Trophy.