The Easter Monday (April 17) witnesses another IPL doubleheader, with the first match—match 18 of IPL 2017—of the evening taking us to the Feroz Shah Kotla, where Delhi Daredevils (DD) host Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at 4pm. These two teams come into this match on the back of consecutive wins by massive margins and should be high on confidence.
Delhi are surprising people with the quality cricket they are currently playing… even though these are still early days in 10th edition of the IPL. Delhi’s bowling attack has fared well in each of their three matches and the batsmen have pulled up their socks since the ordinary display against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Except against Mumbai Indians, who seem to have the knack of rolling them over, you will seldom see Knight Riders be beaten. Under Gautam Gambhir, they have the identity of being a side who are so hard to beat wherever they play. KKR have made a good start to IPL 2017, with three wins from four matches and have looked particularly convincing in their last two home matches, against Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
DD v KKR head-to-head
Kolkata have won 10 of their 17 meetings with Delhi, who have lost four of their last five home clashes against the Knight Riders.
Match 18: DD v KKR Probable Playing XI
Daredevils’s team management might be worried about the form of Karun Nair, whose scores in his two innings read 4 and 0. He looks low on confidence and on Saturday, against Kings XI Punjab, he was dismissed in a soft fashion: caught down the leg-side. However, Delhi’s collective performances might persuade the think-tank to stick with Nair for the clash against the Knight Riders at least.
DD’s probable playing XI v KKR: 1. Zaheer Khan (c), 2. Sanju Samson, 3. Sam Billings, 4. Shreyas Iyer, 5. Karun Nair, 6. Rishabh Pant, 7. Corey Anderson, 8. Chris Morris, 9. Pat Cummins, 10. Shahbaz Nadeem, and 11. Amit Mishra
Actual playing XI for Delhi: 1. Zaheer Khan (c), 2. Sanju Samson, 3. Sam Billings, 4. Shreyas Iyer, 5. Karun Nair, 6. Rishabh Pant, 7. Angelo Mathews, 8. Chris Morris, 9. Pat Cummins, 10. Mohammed Shami, and 11. Amit Mishra
Going to a venue like the Feroz Shah Kotla, where the pitch has tended to be slow over the years and is bound to favour the spinners in the 4pm match, Knight Riders might have to alter their playing XI from the win over Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Colin de Grandhomme hasn’t had much of an impact since replacing the injured Chris Lynn. And, considering the conditions on offer, Gautam Gambhir’s trusted batting all-rounder, Shakib Al Hasan, might be brought into the playing XI for the meeting with Daredevils.
Another possible change to Kolkata’s line-up is Chris Woakes, who has been expensive with the ball, making way for Nathan Coulter-Nile or Rovman Powell.
KKR’s probable playing XI v DD: 1. Gautam Gambhir, 2. Sunil Narine, 3. Robin Uthappa, 4. Manish Pandey, 5. Shakib Al Hasan, 6. Yusuf Pathan, 7. Suryakumar Yadav, 8. Kuldeep Yadav, 9. Chris Woakes/Nathan Coulter-Nile/Rovman Powell, 10. Trent Boult, and 11. Umesh Yadav
Actual playing XI for Kolkata: 1. Gautam Gambhir, 2. Sunil Narine, 3. Robin Uthappa, 4. Manish Pandey, 5. Colin de Grandhomme, 6. Yusuf Pathan, 7. Suryakumar Yadav, 8. Kuldeep Yadav, 9. Chris Woakes, 10. Nathan Coulter-Nile and 11. Umesh Yadav