Delhi Daredevils will clash with the Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 26 of VIVO IPL 2018.
Daredevils, who find themselves at the floor of the eight-team standings with just one win from six outings, have hit the reset button. Post the 4-run defeat to Kings XI Punjab on Monday, the team’s regular captain Gautam Gambhir announced it was in the team’s best interests that he relinquish captaincy. It was subsequently announced that Shreyas Iyer would take over the reins of the team for the rest of the season, with the hope that a change in leadership would result in a turnaround of the team’s fortunes.
The Knight Riders meanwhile sit mid-table with three wins and as many losses. Prior to their five-day break, the Knight Riders suffered a big defeat at the hands of Kings XI Punjab in a rain-affected match at home. After scoring a competitive 191-7, KKR were blown away by KL Rahul and Chris Gayle, with rain making the visitors job a tad simpler.
Pant, DD’s top run-getter this season, has made runs on almost every visit to the crease. DD have perhaps missed an opportunity to get the best out of the left-hander, for he has more often batted at numbers 3, 4 or 5; being the destructive batsman he is, DD should send him up the order and give him the opportunity to bat for as many overs as possible.
After all, Destructive Batsman + More Overs = More Damage, isn’t it? Shreyas, who has now scored half-centuries in consecutive innings, will still be hurting from not being able to take his team over the line in the match against KXIP. Being handed the responsibility of captaining the team, Shreyas will want to lead from the front and make a substantial contribution with the bat.
After struggling for the major part of his first few innings, Chris Lynn played his first amazing innings when he made 74 against KXIP; the Australian will enjoy the pace-heavy DD bowling attack and look to capitalise on the small boundaries at the Kotla.
Captain Dinesh Karthik is KKR’s top run-getter this season – this despite batting at number five in all the matches. Robin Uthappa and Nitish Rana– who bat in the top four – have been in fine form and have struck the ball clean, yet have not been able to convert their starts into big scores. KKR will expect bigger scores from the duo, who despite their form, have only managed one half-century in 12 innings between them.
Among the pacers, Liam Plunkett (who made an instant impression returning 3-17 in his IPL debut outing) and Trent Boult (DD’s highest wicket-taker this season),will be expected to cause damage with the new ball.
Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla form the core of KKR’s bowling attack; between them, the three spinners account for more than half the wickets taken by the team’s bowlers. With the surface at the Kotla expected to offer spinners some assistance, KKR will hope the trio can add to their tally at not too big a cost.
Team Head to Head
Overall: Matches – 20, Delhi Daredevils won – 7, Kolkata Knight Riders won – 13
The head-to-head between the Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders stood at 6-6 after the first meeting between the two teams in the 2014 season. Since then though, KKR have dominated these contests, winning 7 of the next 8 matches.
Predicted Winner: Delhi Daredevils