IPL 10, Match 32, KKR v DD: Kolkata Knight Riders Predicted XI

Home-turf advantages and a wobbly Delhi Daredevils side up against them will make the Knight Riders favourites to win Friday’s encounter.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders. (Photo Source: BCCI)

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Few teams have been able to chase down big totals as authoritatively as the Kolkata Knight Riders have done in this edition of the Indian Premier League. The two-time champions have been part of two of the most dominant chases of this IPL season.

Thanks to a sterling knock from Robin Uthappa and some great support from skipper Gautam Gambhir, the Knight Riders dethroned the Mumbai Indians to once again top the table. Given the way the team has played as a unit, this is probably the only spot where they deserve to be.

After they won a close game against the Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla, the Kolkata Knight Riders will now host the Daredevils play in their own backyard on Friday. Here’s a look at CricTracker’s predicted XI for the Kolkata Knight Riders for their clash against the Delhi Daredevils.

Openers (Sunil Narine, Gautam Gambhir)

The Knight Riders have two contrasting openers in Sunil Narine and Gautam Gambhir. While Narine has been given the license to bat fearlessly, Gambhir anchors the innings at the other end. Gauti being in the race for the Orange Cap is a testimony to the fine form he’s currently in.

KKR have discovered a daring batsman in Sunil Narine. With a strike rate in excess of 180 this season, he has provided some brisk starts for the Knight Riders. Narine comes with only one thought in his mind – connect bat to ball and dispatch it to the boundary. Just a friendly reminder, this is also KKR’s frontline spinner.

Middle order (Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan)

What makes KKR such a strong batting line-up is that Gambhir is followed by Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey. Both highly underrated batsmen, Uthappa and Pandey can take the attack to any opposition bowler.

Robin Uthappa is a fine player of spin. His spectacular innings of 87 which deflated the Rising Pune Supergiant bowlers saw him smash the pacers as well. Don’t forget his sharp wicket-keeping skills which were on display against the Supergiant.

Speaking of leading run-scorers, there’s also Manish Pandey in contention. It always helps when a team’s top three batsmen feature in the top 10 with most runs in a season. Pandey has been dependable for the Knight Riders every time he’s come in to bat. He is also a livewire in the field which is a boost to any captain.

Yusuf Pathan hasn’t had as many opportunities to bat as he’d have liked. That being said, he hasn’t made the most of the chances he’s had either. There’s just the one 59 that stands out in his 2017 IPL which guided KKR to a last over victory against DD.

AllRounders (Colin de Grandhomme and Chris Woakes)

Perhaps KKR’s top order has covered for its lapses in the middle order. In particular, Colin de Grandhomme hasn’t had anything to show for with the bat. However, his four overs of medium pace have been more than useful for the Kolkata Knight Riders. While all the bowlers were taken for runs against RPS, de Grandhomme went for just 14 in his 2 overs.

In the game against RPS, England’s Chris Woakes was back to old ways of bowling expensive spells. In his defence, almost all of KKR’s bowlers were taken for runs. Woakes, however, has picked up 10 wickets for his side this season, and will look to increase his tally of wickets as KKR head into the second half of the tournament.

Bowlers (Piyush Chawla, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav)

Of late, the Kolkata Knight Riders attack has been spearheaded by Nathan Coulter-Nile. The Australian speedster will be raring to go after being rested for the RPS game. Coulter-Nile’s performances have been such that he’s already bagged two Man of the Match awards. His return to the side will bring back the firepower that KKR possessed in their bowling line-up.

Umesh Yadav has been fast and furious, to say the least, although his figures say otherwise. His economy rate of 9.33 in the previous game doesn’t reveal the pace and the bounce he bowled with. On a batting paradise, Umesh got the ball to swing early on and was unlucky to miss out on a wicket in the very first over. Kolkata’s relayed pitch has assisted Umesh’s skiddy pace.

Turning to the spinners, the Kolkata Knight Riders have two spinners who complement each other perfectly. Not often does a leg-spinner and a left-arm chinaman bowler feature in the same side, moreover in a T20 game. Both aren’t afraid to toss the ball up and invite the drive.

Kuldeep Yadav’s flighted delivery earned him the wicket of Manoj Tiwary. The youngster was also aware of Dhoni dancing down the track as he sneaked the googly in to send MSD packing.

Chawla also has the googly up his sleeve, along with a couple of other clever variations. The duo could come into the picture early on in the innings to stop a man like Sanju Samson who loves to shimmy down the track. Both spinners have done well for the Knight Riders of late and will look to maintain their great run with the ball.