x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Gambhir expects a response

The Delhi Daredevils captain backs Virender Sehwag, Tillakaratne Dilshan and AB de Villiers to be in the runs this IPL.

Gautam Gambhir, the Delhi Daredevils captain, has backed Virender Sehwag, Tillakaratne Dilshan and AB de Villiers to soon be in runs after the trio combined to score just 15 between them in Saturday's win over the Kings XI Punjab. Sehwag scored eight, De Villiers seven and Dilshan was out for a duck as Delhi crept to a five-wicket win with just a ball to spare thanks to a 72 from their captain.

"You see Dilshan and Viru - they always go after the bowling," Gambhir told the official Indian Premier League (IPL) website. "You have to back them because these guys can just go out there and attack, and people like me and de Villiers can just play as long as possible. "That is what team harmony is all about. "We do not want to restrict them, because if they play 13-14 games they will win you three or four games single-handedly."

The Daredevils face the Rajasthan Royals today and the in-form Yusuf Pathan. Yusuf blasted a century off just 37 balls on Saturday, the second fastest in Twenty 20 history, but it was not quite enough as the Royals fell four runs short of the target set by the Mumbai Indians. Shane Warne, the Royals captain, said the innings was the best he had ever seen, but Gambhir still has confidence in his bowlers going in to today's game in Ahmedabad.

"I think it is very important that you start off well because you get some confidence and you can carry the momentum in the tournament," he said. "The way the bowlers bowled I think there were a lot of positives which we had in the first game. I think the win was very important." * With agencies Rajasthan Royals v Delhi Daredevils, 6.30pm start, CricOne