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Delhi will rely on batting strength

The players will be at their best behaviour at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Wednesday when Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers face off.

The Indian Premier League contests have been dominated by the foreign stars mainly. It is time the Indians got going.

Virender Sehwag has batted himself into form and his breathtaking innings against Deccan Chargers was just a glimpse of his ability to tear apart the attack. “Nothing can stop me when I get going,” he had said after that super knock and Royal Challengers wouldconcentrate on getting him early.

Delhi Daredevils knows its strength lies in its quality batting line up where Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir form a lethal opening pair. The likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Rajat Bhatia and Mithun Manhas would love to use the platform to make an impact but it is the presence of Mohammad Asif and Shoaib Malik that makes the home team the one to watch.

Farveez Maharoof and Glenn McGrath have bowled outstandingly thus far. Even though Sehwag must be tempted to play leg-spinner Amit Mishra on this strip, it is the batting that should carry Daredevils through.

Royal Challengers has not been able to form a combination that could make the opponent work hard. Two encouraging knocks from Wasim Jaffer and Ross Taylor may have sent some positive signals but much depends on Misbah-ul-Haq and Jacques Kallis.

Skipper Rahul Dravid’s search for a fruitful knock continues. The teams seek a win desperately to avoid a slide in the rankings and this alone should make it a match worth looking forward to.

“Every match after this is important. We can’t afford to make mistakes if we wish to make it to the semifinals,” said Dravid.

“We played a match last night, travelled today, practiced and play a match tomorrow. But we have to manage. We need to execute our plans. In Twenty20, there are no favourites,” said Dravid.

A question on the Harbhajan Singh-Sreesanth spat was inevitable and Dravid was prepared. “Everyone is matured but sometimes things happen in the heat of the moment. I was not there (when it happened) but we have to move on.”

Coach Martin Crowe said, “It has been a fast learning curve. We don’t have a Hayden, McCullum, Sehwag but we are a side that looks for contribution from every player. You have got to make your own luck.”

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