Expect the temperature at the Subrata Roy Sahara stadium to soar high later today when the top two teams from the Indian Premier League Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders locks horns in the first qualifier of the Indian Premier League season V.
None of the teams ever had been in the finals of the IPL and this time one of these teams would surely make it to the summit clash and the team which loses out in this match would have another chance at the qualification.
Sehwag, skipper of Daredevils shares a very cordial relation with his counterpart from Kolkata, Gambhir. Both have played for the same state for so years and after that in the national team too, but that fact would not have any effect on the quality of the match and both the teams would be in no mood to relent.
Going by the way the tournament has shaped up, the match without any doubt can be billed as spin versus pace attack. Last time Kolkata’s spin attack won the match for them and Delhi’s pace attack has been brilliant throughout the tournament. Both the teams have good past records in Pune and if Delhi chased down 147 in 16 overs here, then two days back Kolkata defended 136. They would like to repeat their performance but it would not be so easy like the previous and they would have to battle it out in this epic contest.
Both the teams have some match winners in their arsenal and in all likelihood they are the players who would amidst most of the action in today’s match: Let have a look at the players to watch for:
Kolkata Knight Riders:
Gautam Gambhir: Gautam Gambhir came into the tournament with a good form and he continued doing so. Number four on the runs list and a strong contender for the Orange Cap, Gambhir has been in his elegant best and is shouldering the batting responsibility of the team very well. He has already scored six fifties this season and would definitely like to increase that tally. Moreover his ability to deliver in big matches and ability to play well on slow pitches would be of great help to him and he could very well exploit the conditions at Pune.
Brendon McCullum: This year’s IPL did not see Brendon McCullum as attacking as he is, but is still playing a very useful hand at the top of the innings. He can counter Morne Morkel at the start of the innings and Kolkata would want him to play the role of an anchor at the top.
Sunil Narine: He is one of the surprises that have been unveiled this season. His sharp turn and unpredictable line makes it very difficult for batsmen to pick him. It would be interesting to see how he bowls to Sehwag. He is currently at number two on list of wicket takers with 22 wickets and it is very difficult to judge what kind of delivery it will be from the release. Even the great man Sachin Tendulkar failed to pick him up. He will be the key to their success today.
Shakib Al Hasan: He would be partnering Sunil Narine and it would be interesting to see how does to bowl to the likes of Warner, Sehwag and Mahela.
Virender Sehwag: He is leading the team from the front. Sehwag with 484 runs at a strike rate of 164.62 is currently at the fifth position in list of highest run getters in the tournament and would definitely push forward to win the Orange cap. He already has five consecutive fifties to his name and KKR would be wary of that. The slow pitch of Pune did not bother him much last time he came here as he smashed a 48 balls 87 and would he be itching to take on Sunil Narine.
David Warner: The explosive left handed batsmen played just six matches and scored 246 runs already including a century and a half century. He is a dangerous man and if he gets going, then KKR sure would have to run for covers.
Morne Morkel: Holder of the purple cap. Morkel already has 25 wickets to his name. His vicious and his precise line and length has made him one of the most dreaded bowlers of the IPL. He has been one of the reasons why Delhi has done so well in the tournament and he would be asked by his captain to counter Gambhir up the order.
Umesh Yadav: He has playing as the second fiddle to Morkel in the tournament. Yadav has already taken 17 wickets and is getting to swing the ball both ways. The ways he balls in the slow Pune track would be a thing to watch.
By Indian Sports News Network