In match number 13 of the VIVO- IPL 2018, the Kolkata Knight Riders are all set to take on the Delhi Daredevils at their fortress – the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. After beginning their campaign with a win against a good looking Royal Challengers Bangalore Unit, the Knights have lost 2 games in a row and would be looking to bounce back to winning ways at their home ground.
What makes things interesting is the fact that KKR was not very far away from a victory on both the occasions. Against the Chennai Super Kings, the match was decided in the final over with Chennai absorbing the pressure and somehow crossing the line. Similarly, in the game against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, KKR fought well to take the game to the 19th over of the second innings despite putting up a not so grand 138 on the board, while batting first.
When KKR face the Delhi Daredevils it would be on the back of their minds that a few things here and there and they could get back on track of victory. It is true though that the Knights have had a few issues that they would like to address, their biggest grievance being the team combination.
Sunil Narine’s stint at the top of the order has been reasonably successful for the team but skipper Dinesh Karthik opined that he might not get to open in all their fixtures. Narine in the lower middle order is a waste of a resource and ability especially when Chris Lynn has not been at his best till now.
Narine tends to take the attack to the opposition from the first ball itself and the longer he stays, the better for the team as he makes full utilization of the power play overs, allowing an unsettled Lynn to take his time on the other end. Shubman Gill coming in to bat at No.6 or 7 is again too harsh on the youngster who has been batting at the top of the order, his entire career. Having Shivam Mavi in the side for just one over, makes little sense and KKR clearly have a lot of work to do to set the balance right.
On the other hand, the Delhi Daredevils have had a contrasting journey so far. With losses in the first two games, Delhi tasted success for the first time in the tournament when they chased down 194 against the Mumbai Indians in Mumbai. After Colin Munro’s poor show on Indian soil continued in the opportunities he was given this season, Jason Roy single handedly destroyed Mumbai’s bowling. The English cricketer has suddenly transformed the face of Delhi’s batting unit. Momentum too is on their side and could play a huge factor in the match.
Both the captains- Gautam Gambhir and Dinesh Karthik have played for both the franchises- DD and KKR. While Gambhir led the KKR to two titles, Karthik donned the DD colors in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2014. A psychological battle is a sure thing then- this Monday evening.
A battle between Kolkata’s bowling and Delhi’s batting is on the cards tonight at the Eden Gardens. Broadcast starts at 20:00 Hours (IST).