Delhi, Kolkata seek return to winning ways (Preview)

New Delhi, April 29 (IANS) Delhi Daredevils will look to build on their hat-trick of wins when they clash with Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL) here on saturday.

Delhi’s season began with a loss against KKR in the first leg and many feared another dispiriting campaign lay ahead for them. But they have creditably bounced back with three successive wins since then.

But that streak was halted in their last-ball defeat by Gujarat Lions. But the loss shouldn’t demoralise Delhi who have been impressively led by veteran pacer Zaheer Khan.

In his last competitive action, Zaheer has used all his experience to build a fighting outfit that has been impressive in its all-round play.

Their batting has been led by South African opener Quinton de Kock. Having scored the only century of the tournament so far, he has shown unstinted stroke-making ability. But what will worry the Delhi camp would be his cheap dismissals in the last two matches.

De Kock’s compatriot Jean Paul Duminy, the team’s captain last season, has also provided a steady influence in the middle order, guiding the young Indian batsmen, particularly Sanju Samson who has been in form.

The batting appears a little short on experience but that hasn’t been exposed so far. But Morris’ big-hitting ability against Lions would have surely increased their confidence.

The bowling looks more secure with Zaheer and South African Chris Morris forming the pace attack.

The spin department is also in secure hands with wily spinners Amit Mishra and Imran Tahir working their magic in tandem.

It will be interesting to see what combination Delhi chooses for the match with West Indies’ World T20 win hero Carlos Brathwaite warming the bench for the last two matches.

Their opponents, KKR, are also coming into the match on the back of a defeat to Mumbai Indians.

While they are placed second in the standings, two places above Delhi, they failed to defend a strong score of 174 against Mumbai.

KKR’s batting has been sound with skipper Gautam Gambhir leading from the front. They are yet to lose while chasing and have a balanced squad.

Gambhir has scored three half-centuries. KKR would like him to continue his purple patch.

The teams:

Delhi Daredevils: Zaheer Khan (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Khaleel Ahmed, Sam Billings, Carlos Brathwaite, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Quinton de Kock, Jean Paul Duminy, Akhil Herwadkar, Imran Tahir, Shreyas Iyer, Mahipal Lomror, Chama Milind, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami, Chris Morris, Shahbaz Nadeem, Karun Nair, Pawan Negi, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Pawan Suyal, Jayant Yadav, Pratyush Singh.

Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Piyush Chawla, Brad Hogg, Jason Holder, Sheldon Jackson, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Lynn, Manan Sharma,Morne Morkel, Colin Munro, Sunil Narine, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Ankit Rajpoot, Andre Russell, Rajagopal Sathish, Shakib Al Hasan, Jaydev Unadkat, Robin Uthappa, Suryakumar Yadav, Umesh Yadav.



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