New Delhi: After an encouraging start to the tournament where they had four wins out of six, Rajasthan Royals have lost their last two matches and slipped to fifth position. Their next challenge is likely to be their toughest - facing Delhi Daredevils in Delhi - as the mid-table scramble heats up.
Daredevils, meanwhile, stamped their authority with a thumping win over Mumbai Indians on Friday which has taken them a step ahead of the rest. It was the first time this season that Daredevils batted first and they made most of their muscle by posting 207. While Kevin Pietersen has had a Gayle-like effect on the team, Virender Sehwag has bullied the opposition with three consecutive half-centuries at a strike-rate of 182.35. Sehwag now has the orange cap in his sights. Daredevils' pacers - purple cap holder Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav and Irfan Pathan - have played in all eight games. With Varun Aaron, who will be available soon, Andre Russell and Doug Bracewell on the bench, there is a case for rotation.
Royals have adequate strength in their batting to counter pace and spin. Rahane has been confident, while Owais Shah and Brad Hodge can attack faster bowlers with ease. In Brad Hogg, Royals have a canny spinner, who can entice Sehwag into a trap. But the small boundaries and a flat pitch in Delhi could turn this game into another bat-out.