Cricket

IPL Preview – KKR aim to score a double over DD

Delhi Daredevils players celebrate

The Kolkata Knight Riders have the chance to score a double over the Delhi Daredevils when the two sides clash today at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.   

After a five-day break, the Delhi Daredevils will be back in action as they visit table-toppers Kolkata Knight Riders in the 32nd match of the VIVO IPL 10.

With six wins from eight matches, KKR has been the most impressive among all franchises so far. Except the losses against Mumbai and Gujarat, Gambhir & Co. have cleared most of the hurdles with aplomb. Starting from promoting Lynn and Narine at the top, or GG’s clever use of spinners, Knights’ every move has clicked so far. While many still fear about KKR peaking too early, one should remember SRK’s boys have their eyes set on finishing among the top-2, something which Robin Uthappa stated the other day.

With three batsmen among top ten leading run scorers of the season, batting has clearly been KKR’s biggest strength. They love to chase and have done that on many occasions. The pace battery makes the bowling too look good and thus Knights will start as clear favourites against the Daredevils.

After a positive start, Delhi’s season till now has been a case of ‘So near, yet so far’. Narrow defeats against RCB, KKR and MI have saw Rahul Dravid’s boys slip to the bottom position in the standings. A predominantly bowling heavy side, Delhi restricted the fancied batting line up of Mumbai to 142 in the last game. However, a lacklustre show from the batsmen ensured they suffered their third loss on the trot. The bowlers have done their job on most instances, but the Indian batsmen have been found wanting. Barring a special innings from Samson, Delhi’s batting is yet to get going in this tournament. One more loss will make the forthcoming road more troublesome and surely Delhi would like to avoid that.

 

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Top Batsman: Robin Uthappa (Fantasy Points- 465)

In three of last five games, KKR’s ‘Batman’ Robin Uthappa has scores of 68, 72 and 87, a clear indication of the form he is in. A player who gave up his favourite opener’s slot for the team’s cause, Robin has excelled at his new No. 3 position too. He was at his destructive best against Pune, making most use of the lives he got. Trying to play more in the ‘V’ has worked wonders for the Karnataka lad, who is once again in the reckoning for forging his way back to the national side.

 

 

Top Bowler: Nathan Coulter-Nile (Fantasy Points- 176)

After being rested for the Pune encounter, expect the Aussie seamer to have a go at Delhi batsmen with regained vigour. The wrecker-in chief against RCB, Coulter-Nile has scalped 8 wickets from just three matches at an average of 10.5. His style of hitting the deck hard and movement off the air gave the Bangalore batsmen nightmares in the last game. With the Eden strip still sporting the same tinge of grass, it will not be surprising to see Coulter-Nile run amok through the relatively inexperienced Delhi batting unit, the same team against whom he bagged the Man of the Match award earlier this season.

 

Top All-Rounder: Chris Morris (Fantasy Points- 435)

Irrespective of Delhi winning or losing, one thing which has consistent for them so far is Chris Morris’ form. After scoring runs at a strike rate of 175 and taking 12 wickets from six games, the Proteas all-rounder has become a fearsome foe for opposition teams. Against Mumbai, Morris nearly took Delhi to the brink of victory with a fine unbeaten innings of 52. His bowling has been even better, conceding runs at a miserly rate of 6.9. It is time the other players start complimenting Morris with impactful performance.

 

Punt Player: Rishabh Pant (Fantasy Points- 256)

Though the youngster registered two ducks in the previous two matches, Pant is a player who has the ability to change the course of a match in a span of few deliveries. The last time these two teams met, the 19-year old smashed in-form Umesh Yadav for 26 runs in an over. Having a "Sehwag-esque" style of batting, Pant believes in the concept of ‘See the ball and hit the ball’. While many believe India have already got Dhoni’s successor in limited overs cricket, the focus at present will be how the rookie performs against Knights on a green top wicket.

 

 

TV Guide:

Match Starts at 4:00 PM IST

TV Telecast: Sony Six (Hindi) and Sony Six HD (English)

Online streaming: www.hotstar.com

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