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by Mayukh Bhattacharya Sunday 15 April 2018
A red-hot Delhi Daredevils (DD) will look for their second straight win of the season when they take on a Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) team which was all at sea in their last game against the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
Questions were asked at the start of the season about the lack of bench strength in the KKR squad but, it was the use of those bench players that would need some answering on behalf of Dinesh Karthik and the management. The decision to bat star under-19 batsman Shubman Gill at seven, just a spot above his fellow team mate and fast bowler Shivam Mavi was one of the key talking points behind their defeat against SRH the other night. The other major talking point was the decision to give Mavi just the one over in the entire game. These two decisions meant that KKR effectively played with nine players, which is a cardinal sin in any form of cricket!
Major shake-ups always do not bring about success and the decision to promote Robin Uthappa to open the batting, something he hasn’t done since 2016, backfired as well! They never really recovered from that sluggish start and whimpered to 138/8 from their 20 overs.
Delhi on the other hand needed a Jason Roy special to get over the line against the Mumbai Indians in what was a fascinating contest. Their bowlers were taken to the cleaners, having gone for 84 runs off their powerplay. Even the reliable Shahbaz Nadeem failed to find the right length while Trent Boult too went for nearly ten an over. Rahul Tewatia brought them back into the game and it was Glenn Maxwell who turned out to be their most economical bowler.
Roy’s innings was a mixture of caution and aggression and the fact that he was ready to bide his time against spin was heartening to watch even in a T20 fixture. Even though his t-shirt was dripping wet, he was out there to face the first and last balls of the innings and take his team to a much needed victory. With a couple of more away games on the card, the win would give Delhi belief as they work their way around their new team.
Barring Sunil Narine, none of the Kolkata bowlers have looked threatening enough and the onus will be on him to ensure that their bowling does not get destroyed once again! Senior pro Mitchell Johnson will also need to find his rhythm if they are to get back to winning ways!
KKR will need to bat Shubman Gill at the top of the order and if possible have him open with Chris Lynn. That would allow Uthappa to slot back into the middle order and play Narine as a floater. Expect an unchanged line up from KKR.
Kolkata Knight Riders - Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Mitchell Johnson, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Shivam Mavi
Delhi should go in with an unchanged XI.
Delhi Daredevils – Jason Roy, Gautam Gambhir(c), Shreyas Iyer, Glenn Maxwell, Rishabh Pant (wk), Dan Christian, Vijay Shankar, Rahul Tewatia, Shahbaz Nadeem, Trent Boult, Mohammed Shami
April 16, 2018
20:00 hours IST
Eden Gardens, Kolkata
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