IPL 2013: Delhi Daredevils vs Kolkata Knight Riders- Preview
Raipur: After notching up a morale-boosting victory against the Pune Warriors, Delhi Daredevils will aim to improve their current position when they face defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders in a Pepsi Indian Premier League match on Wednesday.
Just like the previous match between the Daredevils and the Warriors, this encounter will also be a battle of survival for both the teams -- especially KKR, whose slide during this edition has been pretty sharp.
While Daredevils have lost seven out of their nine games, KKR are not too far behind having lost six games out of nine.
While the Knights would try desperately to bring their lackadaisical campaign back on track, the Daredevils can afford to play with a free mind as they have already lost enough and have nothing more to lose.
When David Warner said that "every game from now on is a semi-final", he knew how tough it would be to win seven out of seven games in order to remain in contention for a knock-out stage berth.
However, the positive aspect for Daredevils will be the manner in which they won their encounter against the Warriors the other day.
It looked like a lost cause during the first 10 overs of the visiting team`s chase and it was their first come-from-behind win this season.
The Daredevils have failed to finish off some close matches this season and their effort against the Warriors was certainly laudable considering the situation they are in at the moment.
The one thing that has been ailing both the teams is the performance of their Indian players which has definitely played a big role in their poor show in the million dollar league so far.
While there is no denying that Delhi don`t have quality domestic talent to win matches if their foreign recruits don`t perform, KKR also have been let down by the likes of Yusuf Pathan, Manoj Tiwary, who are known for their explosive batting.
For Delhi, the likes of Manprit Juneja, Unmukt Chand have failed miserably in grabbing the golden opportunities that had come their way while Yusuf has been the biggest disappointment as far as KKR are concerned.
With a huge pay cheque of more than a million dollars, the senior Pathan has failed to produce one single performance of note during the three seasons that he has been with the Shah Rukh Khan co-owned franchise.
That he has been getting game after game is an indication that how bad KKR`s bench strength is. Things have come to such a passe that Yusuf might still be retained having scored only 108 runs in nine matches at a woeful average of only 18.
The pressure has been immense on skipper Gautam Gambhir, and Eoin Morgan, who have easily been the two best players in their side with scores of 308 and 268 runs respectively.
Gambhir, however, has failed in the last two games and would like to make amends during tomorrow`s encounter.
With the pitch at the Shahid Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium offering fair amount of bounce, it won`t be a bad idea for KKR to drop Sachitra Senanayeke and play the seasoned Brett Lee, who had unsettled the Delhi batsmen with his raw pace during the inaugural match of the competition.
The Daredevils might just stick to their winning combination but Ashish Nehra`s fielding definitely makes a case for Ajit Agarkar`s inclusion in the side.
In terms of their current form, the two veterans are on even keel but on the field ,the Mumbaikar is far better than his Delhi teammate who is a liability giving away at least 10 runs per match and not going for those 50-50 catches.
In all, an exciting match is on the cards as it is redemption time for KKR. Daredevils, on the other hand, would look to exact a sweet revenge for their first leg loss against the same opponents.
Delhi Daredevils: Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Virender Sehwag, David Warner, Umesh Yadav, Manprit Juneja, Ashish Nehra, Naman Ojha (wk), Irfan Pathan, Andre Russell, Kedar Jadhav, Ajit Agarkar, Johan Botha, Unmukt Chand, Morne Morkel, Shahbaz Nadeem, Ben Rohrer, Royston Dias, Muralidharen Gautam, Siddarth Kaul, Jeevan Mendis, Yogesh Nagar, Sujit Nayak, Pawan Negi, Aristh Singhvi, Roelof van der Merwe, Venugopal Rao, Gulam Bodi.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (C), Brad Haddin, Brendon McCullum, Brett Lee, Debabrata Das, Eoin Morgan, Iqbal Abdulla, Jacques Kallis, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Manoj Tiwary, Manvinder Bisla (W), Shami Ahmed, Pradeep Sangwan, Rajat Bhatia, Ryan McLaren, Ryan ten Doeschate, Sachithra Senanayake, Sarabjit Ladda, Sunil Narine, Yusuf Pathan, Paras Dogra, Sumit Narwal.