Delhi v Rajasthan(watch it here free) follow the thread for regular updates


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Shane Warne and his Rajasthan Royals travel to Delhi, where the Daredevils await them for their opener under the recently installed floodlights at a refurbished Feroz Shah Kotla.

. Delhi has in its ranks the explosive Sehwag, alongside Gautam Gambhir, a standout performer for India in Twenty20s, and Shikhar Dhawan, while Rajasthan have big hitters of the ball in Shane Watson and Yusuf Pathan. Warne’s battle with Sachin Tendulkar has been touted as one to watch in the IPL, but the contest against Sehwag will be no less engaging. After conquering batsmen the world over in unison, Glenn McGrath and Warne will be on opposing ends, though it’s unlikely they will bowl to each other.

Delhi start favourites for the clash, with a heady mix of aggressive batsmen, wily bowlers and athletic fielders, but it will be folly to underestimate the tactical acumen of Warne, the coach and captain.

Both teams will miss some of their overseas players. Delhi will be without Pakistanis Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Asif, while AB de Villiers is back in South Africa playing the Standard Bank Pro20 Series. For Rajasthan, Graeme Smith is also away on domestic duty, forcing them to send an SOS call to 38-year-old Darren Lehmann after Mark Ramprakash turned down the offer. Also unavailable are the Pakistani trio of Younis Khan, Kamran Akmal and Sohail Tanvir, besides hard-hitting allrounder Dimitri Mascarenhas, the only English player in the league. Delhi are likely to open with Sehwag and Gambhir, with Tillakaratne Dilshan and wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik occupying middle-order spots. Manoj Tiwary, Dhawan, Mithun Manhas and Rajat Bhatia will vie for the remaining slots in the batting line-up, leaving space for four bowlers, spearheaded by McGrath and Daniel Vettori, one of the most effective bowlers in last year’s World Twenty20 in South Africa. An injury to Sri Lankan allrounder Farveez Maharoof means Tasmanian Brett Geeves, a surprise signing, might get a game, while it will be a toss-up between Yo Mahesh and Pradeep Sangwan, unless Delhi opt for a second specialist spinner in Amit Mishra.

This is also the perfect platform for young players from both sides like Shikhar Dhawan, Yo Mahesh, Pradeep Sangwan, Mayank Tehlan from Daredevils and Ravindra Jadeja, Taruwar Kohli, Pankaj Singh, Yusuf Pathan, Siddharth Trivedi from Royals to prove their worth in the tournament to be telecast in prime time in the country and throughout the world.