Daredevils and Royals square up for Delhi opener

April 18th, 2008 - 11:05 pm ICT by admin  

(Preview, Lead)

New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) Delhites will be feted to a heady cocktail of cricket and entertainment under the floodlights at Ferozshah Kotla Saturday when Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals square up in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The Daredevils, owned by GMR Group and led by powerhouse Virender Sehwag, boasts of names like Glenn Mcgrath and Daniel Vettori. At the other end will be the enchanting Shane Warne marshalling the underdog Royal’s team.

Both the skippers were away in Bangalore for the IPL inaugural ceremony, but their sides were all geared for their match Saturday at the spruced up Feroze Shah Kotla.

Arriving here earlier in the day, the Royals looked sharp at the nets, while Daredevils concentrated more on fielding drills.

Daredevils have the home advantage against the well-balanced Royals in their opener.

Mohammad Kaif and Munaf Patel provided the star turn for Royals.

The international flavour was provided by the presence of Aussie all-rounder Shane Watson and former Australian batsman and part time tweaker, Darren Lehman.

Another former Aussie Justin Langer would be joining the team later along with South African captain Graeme Smith and Pakistani imports Younis Khan, Kamran Akmal and Sohail Tanveer. Englishman Dimitri Mascarenhas would also join the team later.

The Daredevils concentrated more on fielding drills Friday under the watchful eyes of coach Greg Shipperd. The side now wears a more settled look after Sri Lankan all-rounder Tillakaratne Dilshan, who returned from national duties in Caribbean, joined the team.

Five of the hosts’ eight foreign imports, Daniel Vettori, McGrath, Brett Geeves, Dilshan and Ferveez Maharoof, will be available for selection, while Pakistani Shoaib Malik and Mohd Asif and South African Abraham De Villiers are yet to join the squad. Only four foreign players are allowed to playing in the eleven.

Even after he hanged up his boots one year ago, McGrath was looking fitter and meaner as ever with his bowling.

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