IPL-5 knockouts: Get ready for nail-biters

Delhi Daredevils

The team from the national capital has been the team to beat in the ongoing edition. With a complete T20 unit, Delhi have largely stuck to their game plan and never really allowed opposition to get on top of them. They started off their campaign on a bright note by thrashing Kolkata in their home ground and never really looked back after that. There were a few defeats here and there but for large parts Delhi have looked the most dominant side of IPL-5. Season 2012 has seen the team notch up the maximum number of wins during group stages. 11 wins in 16 matches is also better than their previous best of 10 wins from 15 outings in the 2009 edition that was played in South Africa.

Strengths
Solid aggressive batting at the top, very shrewd brain in Eric Simmons and Match-winning fast bowlers. Delhi has in many ways been the ‘foreign’ team of IPL-5. Not very often teams win in India using fast bowling as a potent weapon. Delhi has been doing just that. Great exhibition of fielding and tremendous team effort have only added to their strengths.

Weaknesses
Never seriously tested. They have largely been on cruise mode this edition. Although DD have grown beyond Kevin Pietersen’s non-availability due to national commitments for England, the factor could still hurt the team in big knockout fixtures.

Opportunities
This will be Delhi’s best opportunity to win their maiden title. Their previous opportunities had come in the first two seasons, where they lost in the semis. They will be hoping for better luck this time around and with the team they have, it certainly is within the realms of possibility.

Threats
Kolkata will be a big threat first-up and even if they do make it to the final, either Chennai or Mumbai or even Kolkata will never be easy to beat on big match days. DD’s poor record in knockout fixtures in earlier editions could well haunt them.

Players who hold the key

Virender Sehwag
David Warner
Mahela Jayawardene
Irfan Pathan
Andre Russell