Inconsistency has been Delhi Daredevils’ biggest problem in IPL 2017 and that has taken them to the bottom of the table ahead of their game against Kolkata Knight Riders. With the matches coming thick and fast, DD will look for wins during the period that their captain Zaheer Khan described crucial to their chances of making it through to the playoffs.
They will face an in-form KKR side who have a settled side who have adapted to the change in their home conditions like a duck to water. The game will also be a battle between two of the finest captains to never become full-time captains of India in Zaheer Khan and Gautam Gambhir, who have impressed one and all with their tactics and their approach to the game.
For Kolkata Knight Riders, their batting has been their biggest strength. The opening combination of Gautam Gambhir and Sunil Narine has been a huge hit while the rest of the top order, Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey have also been in good form.
Delhi Daredevils have struggled due to their lack of consistency with both bat and ball. Rishabh Pant and Chris Morris haven't batted at their respective positions and they will look for answers, especially in their batting order with their bowling looking impressive with the addition of Kagiso Rabada.
Both teams have a strong bowling attack with plenty of emphasis on quality fast bowlers and it will be interesting to see which batting line-up holds up better against a quality bowling line-up. With the pitch expected to assist the pacers, don’t be surprised if the bowlers dominate the headlines once again.
Match date: 28-04-2017
Match time: 1600 hours (IST)
Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata
If Kolkata Knight Riders bat first
Predicted score: 150+
With Sunil Narine’s promotion to the top of the order, KKR have managed to solve the problem of a slow start, that was sometimes held them back when Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa opened the innings. Not only has Narine fired, he has also set the platform for the rest that follow him.
And that has been of huge help to both Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey, who have been in sublime form so far in the tournament. The fast start has given them both the luxury to settle in and also go from the start depending on the situation.
While Uthappa and Pandey have dominated the headlines with the bat, Gambhir has gone under the radar once again while being amongst the runs. The only concern for KKR has been the performance of their middle-order and their lower middle-order.
Yusuf Pathan and Suryakumar Yadav haven’t got going so far and while they boast of an incredible depth in their batting, they have largely relied on their top-order to get them over the line so far.
And if there is one bowling line-up that is capable of exposing that fragile middle-order it is Delhi Daredevils. With Pat Cummins, Kagiso Rabada, Chris Morris and Zaheer Khan in their ranks, they pace, variety and the all boxes ticked.
If Delhi Daredevils bat first
Predicted score: 180+
With a young Indian core of batsmen, the biggest problem for Delhi Daredevils has been their consistency. While Sanju Samson has flourished, the others haven’t been as impressive and the problem has been Rishabh Pant’s position in the batting order. The explosive southpaw has been sent in too low to make an impact on the side and as a result, has struggled to be consistent.
Both Pant and Chris Morris, who have been DD’s best batsmen apart from Sanju Samson, have been batting lower than they should. In the game against MI, even Kagiso Rabada came in ahead of the South African all-rounder while Pant only came in at No.6.
DD have to sort out their batting order and hope that their top order clicks, which will be difficult to achieve on a spicy Eden Gardens wicket that will offer plenty of assistance for the pacers.
KKR should have Nathan Coulter-Nile back in the side and with the likes of Chris Woakes, Umesh Yadav and Colin de Grandhomme to support, they have the attack that can make the most of the conditions on offer.
Predicted winners: Delhi Daredevils