Daredevils-KKR will be a battle of equals: Shipperd


New Delhi: Despite losing their last two matches at home, Delhi Daredevils are banking on playing before the home crowd to breathe life in their Indian Premier League campaign, said Daredevils coach Greg Shipperd Sunday.

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Consistent performers in the first two editions, Daredevils have found the going tough this year. They have won three and lost three of their IPL matches. Injuries to key players like Gautam Gambhir and Ashish Nehra have added to their woes.

Shipperd said a final call on captain Gambhir’s return to the side will be taken Monday.

“He is getting close to fitness. He has improved rapidly but we will take a final call tomorrow. If he does not play tomorrow, then hopefully he will play in the next match,” Shipperd said.

“He is the captain of the side and he is very keen to play. But he is also an important member of the Indian side and we have to give him proper time to recover.”

Gambhir pulled his hamstring during their home match against Mumbai Indians and has since missed three matches.

Shipperd, however, is confident that the team will perform better at home this time after losing to Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.

“We have got a good record at home. People turn out in huge numbers and the support we get here is tremendous. We have to use the home advantage and start winning in our fortress,” he said.

Shipperd feels there is not much to choose between the two teams.

“We (both teams) are very much at the same distance from being in the contention for a semi-final berth. Both sides are evenly matched, and so it will be a close match.”

“They have players like (Chris) Gayle and (Shane) Bond. They had a good victory against Kings XI in the last match.”

“But with players like (Virender) Sehwag and (David) Warner, Dinesh Karthik and Tillakaratne Dilshan in our team, you cannot count us out. Youngsters like Kedar Jadhav and Sarabjit Ladda have also impressed a lot,” he said.