The Delhi Daredevils meet the Kolkata Knight Riders in 26th contest of the 11th edition of IPL. The Daredevils are the bottom of the points table with just 1 win from 6 games and have already shown signs of desperation. Post the defeat against the Kings XI Punjab, Delhi’s skipper and local boy Gautam Gambhir decided to step down as captain as he believed he “wasn’t good enough”.
DD will now be led by Shreyas Iyer, who was retained by the franchise before the auctions. Iyer, though, will not have a lot of time to adjust as it is now or never for DD. Delhi will have to find their winning momentum straight away if they have to stay in race for the play offs. Perhaps a change in leadership can help them get into the winning mode and transform the fortune of the team but the chances of it look really slim as Shreyas Iyer is not one of the most experienced leaders.
The Knight Riders are at a comparatively comfortable position in the points table and are sitting at the midway mark, well in contention for the playoffs. With 3 wins and as many losses, KKR would love to grab 2 more points on offer and feel more secure about their campaign. Their previous encounter was against the Kings XI Punjab in which they faced a massive defeat even after scoring a competitive total. KKR would look to put that loss behind their back when they meet DD on Friday (April 27).
Delhi’s highest run getter in the IPL this season, Rishabh Pant, would want to make the best use of the form he is in and score as many runs as possible. Gautam Gambhir, who has struggled so far in the season, will now play solely as a batsman (if he gets a game, given his poor outings so far) and that can ease off the pressure and help him play an innings of solid significance in the context of tonight’s game.
Shreyas Iyer, the newly appointed captain of the Daredevils, has had a few good scores under his belt. Shreyas, who failed to finish off the game for his team against the Punjab franchise, would like to lead the team from the front and be amongst the runs. Somebody like a Glenn Maxwell hasn’t been in great form and it could be a critical game for Maxell, keeping in mind Delhi’s run of play in the ongoing season.
Chris Lynn at last found some form and rhythm against the Punjab side and it could well be Lynn’s night at the Firoz Shah Kotla against the Daredevils, who have a good pace attack. Dinesh Karthik has finished off games for the team and has been the team's top run getter despite batting lower down the order, which is a very healthy sign for a team going into the latter half of the tournament. However, skipper Karthik would expect more runs from the duo of Nitish Rana and Robin Uthappa, who have got starts on many occasions but have failed to convert them into big scores. Uthappa, particularly, has given away his wicket after getting set and would try and avoid such mistakes against the Daredevils.
As far as the bowling is concerned, Trent Boult has been good for the Delhi Daredevils and so has been Liam Plunkett who immediately made an impact after his late inclusion in the playing XI. They will be expected to play the role of strike bowlers and young captain can return to them in tricky situations.
KKR on the other hand have a spin heavy attack. Sunil Narine has been phenomenal as usual, picking up wickets and almost drying out the runs in the middle overs. Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla have brilliantly aided the West Indian Narine and with a bit of assistance from the Kotla pitch, KKR spinners can make life really difficult for the Delhi batsmen.
Expecting another cracker of a contest tonight from Delhi. Broadcast starts at 20:00 Hours (IST).