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IPL 10, Match 32, KKR v DD Preview: Delhi Daredevils in search of win against upbeat Knight Riders

Delhi Daredevils have won only two matches in the season thus far.

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

The Kolkata Knight Riders have been having a merry time this season. They have not only managed to beat the opposition but also have embarrassed them on most occasions. They have been the most attacking side in the tournament thus far with the team looking very balanced. KKR is now set to host the Delhi Daredevils – a team that has seen contrasting fortunes in the tournament thus far.

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Daredevils have managed to take things down the wire but have been lacking the finishing power in them. They are yet to come up with a complete team performance. They have been coming up with a very impressive show with the ball but the batting has lacked firepower. Well, that comes as an obvious fact that they lack experience with the bat. However, Rahul Dravid, the team mentor is confident of pulling things back and expects the youngsters to be stepping up the occasion soon.

Meanwhile, the Knight Riders are spoilt for choices. With all their players performing, they see themselves in a position of benching big players too. The match will be played at the Eden Gardens, a fortress for the Knight Riders. They have had a terrific record at the venue and have lost only one game there this season. The Gautam Gambhir-led team will be keen on making amends to ensure that the fortress remains intact against the Delhi Daredevils.

Toss: Kolkata Knight Riders won the toss and opted to field

Quotes from the toss:

Zaheer Khan: We were looking to bat first. They are a chasing team, we are a defending team. They are the table-toppers, we need some wins under our belt. It will be a good challenge, we have five games coming up, we need some winning momentum. Just one change for us, Ankit Bawne replaces Aditya Tare

Gautam Gambhir: We will bowl. Looks like a good wicket, will not change, might actually get better under lights. It’s always better to chase during the 4 PM games. They have some quality bowlers, we need to be at our best. Two changes for us Coulter-Nile comes back in place of Darren Bravo, Sheldon Jackson replaces Piyush Chawla.

Playing XI:

Kolkata Knight Riders: Sunil Narine, Gautam Gambhir(c), Robin Uthappa(w), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Sheldon Jackson, Colin de Grandhomme, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Woakes, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav

Delhi Daredevils: Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Karun Nair, Ankit Bawne, Rishabh Pant(w), Corey Anderson, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Pat Cummins, Amit Mishra, Zaheer Khan(c)

Focus will be on

Rishabh Pant

The young wicket-keeper batsman has made a name for himself in such a short period of time. He has been hitting the ball so well that he has managed to be in the runs on most occasions during this domestic season. Pant walked into theIPL 2010 riding on some big scores in the domestic circuit. In the tournament this season, he already has a fifty to his name against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the early stages. However, the last few games have seen his form dwindle. He will have the eyes on him to perform more responsibly given the fragile looking Delhi batting on paper.

Yusuf Pathan

Yusuf Pathan has evolved to be a very stable head character for the Kolkata Knight Riders in this edition of the IPL thus far. He has managed to be amongst the runs this season. Pathan would surely want to add more to his tally in the matches that follow. He did not get his share of batting in the previous game against the Rising Pune Supergiant. Considering the strong bowling lineup of the Delhi Daredevils, it will not be surprising to see him get his chance on the day.

Zaheer Khan

The Delhi Daredevils skipper will be under the radar in this particular game. The team has been losing games a little too often now which is proving to be costly for the camp. Zaheer has not been spot on with his bowling changes and his personal form has also seen a downward curve. He needs to ensure that the spirits do not go down in the team camp and the Daredevils get back to the winning ways.

Team Combinations:

Kolkata Knight Riders

The Knight Riders have been on a roll in the last couple of games. They have managed to thoroughly outplay the oppositions and have humiliated them by inflicting severe victories. They showed their bowling might when the bundled out Royal Challengers Bangalore for just 49 runs. In the previous game, the batting prowess came to the fore as they registered a 7 wicket win in the game against RPS.

Considering the form that they are in, it is unlikely that they will tinker with the playing combinations. The only obvious change in the squad would be the return of pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile. Unluckily for Darren Bravo, he will have to make way for Coulter-Nile. The batting order looks good with Gautam Gambhir and Sunil Narine giving brisk starts to the team. Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan have got runs in the middle order.

In the bowling department, the likes of Umesh Yadav and Chris Woakes have been able to take wickets, albeit being a little expensive. The spin department looks set with Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla assisting Sunil Narine.

Delhi Daredevils

Delhi Daredevils have a lot to think about as they make it to this game. They recently named Marlon Samuels as a replacement for Quinton de Kock. However, it is unlikely that Samuels will be drafted straight into the playing eleven after reaching the Indian soil. In this game, expect Angelo Mathews to be in the side at the expense of Sam Billings. The bowling has not been a concern at all for the Daredevils.

Kagiso Rabada and Pat Cummins have been bowling with fire and aggression with the new ball. The experience of Zaheer Khan aids stability to the pace department. Chris Morris has been the unsung hero of the team with both bat and the ball. He will continue to don the hat of the all-rounder along with Corey Anderson. The batting order looks fragile with all Indian youngsters making up the top 5.

StatAttack:

1 – Zaheer needs 1 more wicket to complete 100 IPL wickets.

34 – Number of fifties hit by Gautam Gambhir in IPL – the most in the history of IPL.

61 – Runs needed by Gautam Gambhir to complete 4000 runs in IPL history.

460 – Number of fours hit by Gambhir in IPL – the most by any player.

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