New Delhi: Table-toppers Delhi Daredevils will seek to extend their three-match winning streak when they face Pune Warriors in their Indian Premier League (IPL) clash at the Ferozeshah Kotla here Saturday.
Daredevils registered their fourth win in the season here Thursday night against Deccan Chargers and are leading the points table with eight points from five matches. Pune Warriors are fourth with six points from six matches.
Daredevils vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene wants to keep the momentum going by winning as many matches as they can. The Sri Lankan said all teams are suffering from fatigue due to the lengthy nature of the tournament.
"We got the momentum now. It`s good to keep it going. We have to play good cricket because we know we will have some pretty tough days on the road. As long we are winning we want to play as many matches as possible," said Jayawardene.
Jayawardene also indicated that some of the key players could be rested as part of Daredevils` rotation. He also said that many players are warming the bench and they will also get their chance.
Asked how difficult it will be for the team management to decide the combination of the team when Australian opener David Warner joins the squad, Jayawardene said: "It is a healthy headache to have rather than having not many players to choose from. KP (Kevin Pietersen) is leaving end of the month for his season so Warner will come and join the team. Plus we`ve got many players sitting on the bench. So it`s all about rotation.
"If we feel we need to give a player a couple of days off then we give a break and utilise the bench strength. We have Andre (Russell) on the bench and couple of others. So if Morne (Morkel) requires a break we will give him," he said.
Daredevils have been the best team in the tournament so far. They have the firepower in both the departments to lift the IPL title for the first time. Barring their only loss in the tournament to Royal Challengers Bangalore, they have won all their matches by big margins.
Skipper Virender Sehwag, Pietersen and Jayawardene form their formidable batting attack. Pietersen`s maiden IPL century here Thursday night bears testimony to the Englishman`s form this season.
Daredevils` pace attack has been the best in the tournament while young left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem has been phenomenal. Their South African pacer Morne Morkel is the leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 12 wickets while Nadeem has bowled miserly.
Meanwhile, Pune Warriors will be hoping to end their two-match losing streak. Under the leadership of Sourav Ganguly, Pune Warriors started well with convincing wins against Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab.
They even bounced back well to beat Chennai Super Kings by seven wickets after suffering crushing defeat against Kings XI in the away clash. But losses to Royal Challengers and Super Kings in their last two matches have left Ganguly with more questions to answer.
The loss against Royal Challengers must have hurt Pune Warriors the most as it went down the wire before Saurabh Tiwary hit a six off the last bowl to steal a thriller. Royal Challengers needed 21 runs off the last over but Tiwary and AB De Villiers smashed Ashish Nehra in the last over to take the team home.
Pune Warriors also came under fire Thursday night in Chennai against Super Kings. Their batsmen also got starts but couldn`t convert them into big innings as they fell short by 13 runs while chasing a target of 164.
A captain`s knock from Ganguly is long due while highly rated Manish Pandey, who was the first Indian to hit a century in the IPL, hasn`t lived up to his reputation. The stage is set for Pune Warriors to recover their lost ground.