When the good folk of the national capital flock to the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium on Wednesday to back their Daredevils, they could be forgiven for not being sure exactly how to react. After all, their team has won three of the five games it has played in the Indian Premier League 2016. If dealing with defeat is difficult, dealing with the sudden bounty of success cannot be all easy either.

In their last three seasons, Delhi Daredevils won a total of 10 games of the 44 they played. This translates to an average of 3.3 wins per season, and an overall win percentage of barely 23%.

Ever since their successful run in 2012, when they lost to Chennai Super Kings in the Eliminator, it has been downhill for Delhi. No wonder then that there has been wholesale chopping and changing, not merely in playing personnel but in the back-room as well.

Apart from the opening game of the tournament, where a decidedly undercooked Delhi team was shot out for only 98, the results have been encouraging. Twice, Delhi followed the prevalent pattern of this edition, chasing with calm and control. That they could defend, against a team with a strong batting line-up such as Mumbai Indians, will only add to the confidence within the ranks.

All the same, Delhi will know that they are yet to stitch together that sequence of wins that allows a team to get on a bit of a roll in the IPL. And they next take on a team which has lost just one of the five matches it has played, the Suresh Raina-led Gujarat Lions.

Aaron Finch set up the platform thrice, with scores of 74, 50 and 67* before picking up a duck against Sunrisers Hyderabad and then hobbling off the field against Royal Challengers Bangalore with a hamstring injury that left his squad sweating on his fitness. Finch has been an absolute champion batsman in Twenty20 cricket over the years and Delhi will be only too happy if he cannot take the field on Wednesday.

But, while Finch has been the bedrock, it is not as though he has done all the work himself. Brendon McCullum, Dinesh Karthik and Raina have all got runs to show and more importantly, have showed that form is not a concern. What will leave Raina with a room for a bit of thought, and perhaps the feeling that he could hold the key in the forthcoming clash, is the presence of two leggies at the heart of Delhi’s bowling plans.

Both Amit Mishra and Imran Tahir bowl enough googlies to make them threats against left and right-hand batsmen, but the natural angle and dip that the right-arm legspinner gets tends to make right-hand batsmen just a touch more vulnerable. With this in mind, Gujarat could well ponder bringing in Ishan Kishan in place of Akshdeep Nath. Kishan has shown more than once in his fledgling career that he is up for a challenge and that he can bat fearlessly against any style of bowling.

At this early stage of the tournament, however, with plenty of flux in the points table, teams could well stick to their first-choice options, giving them a chance to get into the groove before the sterner tests that lie ahead when must-win matches come their way.

“All teams are tough opposition in this tournament. We respect the Gujarat Lions," said Sanju Samson of Delhi. “Nothing changes in terms of our preparation. We will obviously consider the strengths and weaknesses of every team before a match."

For the moment, teams will not be thinking too much of win percentages—although you can’t blame Delhi supporters for allowing themselves that luxury, given what they have been through—but rather, they will be looking to discover the best combinations for a set of conditions or opponents and a method of play that gives them the best chance of winning.

Anand Vasu is managing editor at Wisden India. Mint has a content partnership with Wisden India for the IPL 9 season

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