x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Tendulkar and Gambhir need to ensure game is fast and furious

Gautam Gambhir, of Delhi, and Mumbai's Sachin Tendulkar were handed hefty fines after allowing their sides to drag their feet in the opening round of matches.

Accepted wisdom has it that a quick game is a good game. It was for that reason Twenty20 cricket came into being in the first place, and today's meeting between the Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians could see a new benchmark for speed. Neither side will want to be censured again for slow overrates, not least the captains. Gautam Gambhir, of Delhi, and Mumbai's Sachin Tendulkar were handed hefty fines after allowing their sides to drag their feet in the opening round of matches.

Err again, and the entire team will be forced to pay. A third offence would mean an immediate ban for the captains, which, in Tendulkar's case especially, would surely be an unpopular regulation to enforce. More significantly, these two sides have both made winning starts to the campaign even though Mumbai's opening day triumph ended up being a hollow one as it was overshadowed by Yusuf Pathan's stunning century.

The Daredevils are riding high after two wins from as many games, and, worryingly for everyone else, Tillakaratne Dilshan has not even started to fire yet. The innovative Sri Lanka batsman has signed two more contracts this week - with Australian and English sides - to play Twenty20 cricket, than he has scored runs, following a brace of ducks at the start of this tournament. Despite his faltering form, his side are flying, much to the delight of their captain, the India opener Gambhir.

"It's really important to get some momentum early in the tournament and we have got it now," said Gambhir after his Daredevils saw off the Rajasthan Royals on Monday night - inspired by a trademark blitz from his national team opening partner, Virender Sehwag. "We just want to prolong it for as long as we can because once you lose momentum, it's hard to regain it," he said yesterday. pradley@thenational.ae Delhi Daredevils v Mumbai Indians, CricOne, 6.30 pm