After away stumble, Delhi watch their steps at home

The swagger that Delhi had at the start of the season is missing. When you end up on the losing side despite the presence of names like Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli and Ishant Sharma on the team sheet, optimism sneaks out of the dressing room. For the game against Orissa, there are no big stars with crushed egos ready for revenge and to put their team back on track. Instead, Delhi have a bunch of youngsters burdened with the responsibility of lifting up a team that stumbled off the starting blocks.

Orissa aren't domestic heavyweights, but Delhi don't want the first game's casualness to hang over the field. "Be it be Orissa or anyone, every match is very important for us. Orissa know how to survive. A team which knows how to survive can also beat good team," said Delhi chief coach Vijay Dahiya.

Delhi's batting might not have the intimidating aura of the last game but it certainly has promise. Skipper Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order is in form while youngsters Mohit Sharma, Milind Kumar and Unmukt Chand have ample reason to make their presence felt in the absence of the big names. "Shikhar undoubtedly is in peak form and he has performed well for the last two seasons. But at the same time, we cannot blindly trust the big names in the team. These youngsters now will have to stand up for the team as they are the ones who have to take the responsibility," said Dahiya.

Talking about his team's bowling, Dahiya said that the Kotla pitch would help the pacers. He went on to hint that he might play five bowlers. Of the three pacers to expected to take field, Parwinder Awana and Sumit Narwal are certainties, in the absence of Ashish Nehra, while left-armers Pradeep Sangwan and Pawan Suyal will compete the third seamer slot. Two left-arm spinners, Vikas Mishra and Manan Sharma, will complete the bowling department.

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