'Loyalty Test' for Delhi fans as Gambhir-led KKR take on Sehwag-led Daredevils

It was a welcome six-day break and the boys enjoyed the time off taking rest while some visited the Taj Mahal, writes Delhi Daredevils captain Virender Sehwag in his column in The Times Of India.

“We started our campaign this season with a convincing win over Kolkata. It was an easy victory for us at the Eden Gardens, but they have come a long way since that game. Over the last few weeks, they have played some excellent cricket and are comfortably placed next to us at No. 2. They are a well-balanced side who are playing well as a unit and Gautam Gambhir has led from the front. It should be a good contest against them and we are hoping to increase the difference in our points tally,” said Sehwag, adding that it won’t be easy for Sunil Narine, who has been doing well for Kolkata Night Riders.

“He bowled superbly and he mixed his deliveries pretty well. He is young and learning quickly and he is improving by the game. I think he is a very good prospect but the Kolkata track does help him even more. It is not going to be easy for him at Ferozeshah Kotla as the wicket is different out here and hasn't really aided the spinners much.”

Meanwhile for Morne Morkel, the idea of soaking in pressure at the international level is to make mistakes and learn from them all by himself and that is why the South African pacer feels he is flourishing in the IPL as his captain Virender Sehwag doesn't spoon-feed him, says a report in Indian Express.

"Personally, I hate the idea of trying to spoon-feed a cricketer as to what he needs to do in pressure situations. I have seen captains who love to dominate and direct a bowler about dos and don'ts in match situations," said the Delhi Daredevils pacer.

But when you are spoon-fed, you don't grow as a cricketer. Make mistakes and try yourself to find out the solution," the leading wicket-taker in this year's IPL told said.

"That's why I like Virender Sehwag's approach as he likes you to be your own man. Viru would never set fields for you as he believes that if I am an international bowler, I am good enough to set my own fields. Only if things don't work according to plan, he would come up and suggest an alternative," Morkel added.

According to a report in The DNA, the whole of Delhi has been awaiting this clash. “The city’s own son Gautam Gambhir is returning home to challenge his otherwise opening partner Virender Sehwag. More than the teams, it’s a test of loyalty for Delhi’s cricket fans. So far, they have given unstinted support to Delhi’s foreign imports at the Ferozeshah Kotla,” writes DNA, adding that they may find it hard not to back Gambhir and Rajat Bhatia as the Delhi Daredevils, sitting pretty on top with 16 points, take on the Knight Riders in a hugely-anticipated clash.

“The departure of Kevin Pietersen could be a big blow for the hosts. Though David Warner and Mathew Wade have joined the hosts, only the former looks certain to play, which means Mahela Jayawardene and Ross Taylor will move down the order,” adds DNA.