Just like this season's IPL, Delhi Daredevils have surprised one and all. First when they chased down a tall total against Mumbai Indians and then when they failed to chase a modest total against KXIP. Their biggest surprise, perhaps the surprise of the tournament, from and to the team is a resignation from their regular skipper Gautam Gambhir. DD has won just one game out of six and are languishing at the bottom of the table.
When Delhi Daredevils take on Kolkata Knight Riders at Feroz Shah Kotla tonight, all eyes will be on one man. This is because of the events that transpired at a DD press conference on Wednesday when Gautam Gambhir — the man who was given the responsibility of leading a new-look Delhi side to glory — stepped down from captaincy.
Shreyas Iyer will lead the team for the rest of the IPL 2018 season. Chris Morris and Jason Roy sat out the last game against the KXIP due to injury and were replaced by Dan Christian and Liam Plunkett respectively. As of yet, there is no confirmation by the team management whether the duo would be fit for this game against KKR.
KKR's last game was decided early and without the completion of full 20 overs, but it wouldn't have made any difference anyway. KKR received a thrashing defeat at the hands of Kings XI Punjab who chased down an above-par total in quick time.
Barring their last match, KKR's bowlers have done reasonably well. The spin trio of Kuldeep Yadav, Sunil Narine, and Piyush Chawla have kept the breaks on the scoring rate in the middle overs whereas Andre Russell has bowled to the plan during the death overs.
Mitchell Johnson, most probably, will replace injured Russell in the side and would be followed by Piyush Chawla, Shivam Mavi and Kuldeep Yadav. Along with Narine, Yadav has been the star for KKR with the ball and a lot would bank on the duo if Kolkata is to register a win.
If any more injuries plague the team, the bench strength is not of the same calibre as that of the first choice playing XI. While there are a few fine replacements in the squad, the new crop of players are yet to prove themselves at the big stage.
Kolkata Knight Riders
DD vs KKR key players:
Kolkata Knight Riders:
Delhi Daredevils Probable XI: Prithvi Shaw, Gautam Gambhir, Shreyas Iyer (c), Glenn Maxwell, Rishabh Pant (wk), Rahul Tewatia, Daniel Christian, Amit Mishra/Shabhaz Nadeem, Liam Plunkett, Avesh Khan, Trent Boult.
Kolkata Knight Riders Probable XI: Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik, Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Tom Curran, Piyush Chawla, Shivam Mavi, Kuldeep Yadav
DD vs KKR Head to Head
Delhi Daredevils have faced Kolkata Knight Riders 20 times in the Indian Premier League with the latter having emerged victorious on 13 of those occasions.
The Knight Riders outperformed the Daredevils and recorded a comprehensive 71-run win when the two teams squared off earlier in the 13th match of the ongoing season.
Total Matches: 20; Delhi Daredevils Won: 7; Kolkata Knight Riders Won: 13
Kolkata Knight Riders boast a strong record against the Delhi Daredevils. They have beaten them four times in their previous five encounters, including the last three matches straight. However, their confidence would have been dented after their heavy loss to the Kings XI Punjab in the last game which is something that the Daredevils will look to take advantage of. Shreyas' men are desperate for a win at this stage and they will want to leave no stone unturned come Friday night. While the Knight Riders do have a power-packed batting line-up, they lack the sting in their pace attack which could prove to be costly in the end. Delhi Daredevils may have had a rough time up till now but we expect them to put up a match-winning performance in front of their home crowd.