Delhi Daredevils will want to bounce back from an agonising defeat to the Gujarat Lions when they host the Kolkata Knight Riders, another team coming off a defeat, in an IPL 2016 game at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Saturday. Both DD and KKR have made strong starts to their IPL campaigns, and they will want to put those losses behind them and get back to winning ways.
While the Daredevils went down, in one of the best games of IPL 2016, to the Gujarat Lions in their previous game, KKR were trumped by a Mumbai Indians team in the mood. While heavy losses are easier to get over, the Delhi Daredevils would have taken a lot of positives from their performance against the Lions. Dead and buried for the longest time, Chris Morris played one of the most exhilarating innings you will see to make it a contest.
A contest is what the fans at the Feroz Shah Kotla will want to see as well, which is more that can be said of when the two teams met the last time around. At the Eden Gardens, in the reverse fixture of IPL 2016, KKR bundled DD out for 98, and that debacle will be on the back of the mind of the batsmen when they enter the Kotla for this IPL 2016 game.
While the Daredevils batting looks fairly settled, Zaheer Khan, Rahul Dravid and Paddy Upton might consider bringing back Shreyas Iyer into the playing XI. The Mumbaikar sat out the last match, against the Gujarat Lions, making way for Rishabh Pant. Pant is someone the DD camp rate very highly, so they will be keen to give the youngster more of an opportunity. Therefore, if Iyer does come back in, it will probably be for Sanju Samson or Karun Nair.
In the bowling, Mohammed Shami could return to the playing XI for Shahbaz Nadeem, who bowled four overs for 32 in the last match, without picking up a wicket. However, if Zaheer feels the Feroz Shah Kotla wicket is more suited to the slower bowlers, the left-arm orthodox could stay in the team.
KKR were thoroughly outplayed by the Mumbai Indians in their last match, with Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard shining with the baPt at the Wankhede Stadium. While this entire IPL has been a chaser's paradise, there is no team who love to chase more than the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Gautam Gambhir's men look a different outfit when they win the toss and choose to bowl first, so that toss will be key for KKR.
In the team news department, Manish Pandey is still out with chicken pox. Chris Lynn came in for Morne Morkel in the last game and if Gambhir feels the need for an extra bowler, the Aussie could end up sitting back on the bench. Lynn was underutilised in the last game, however, and if he does play, KKR would be better off pushing him up the order, where he had so much success playing for the Brisbane Heat in the BBL.
With the Kotla pitch usually more conducive to spin bowling, Piyush Chawla could return for Jaydev Unadkat, who went for 49 runs in his three overs against MI.
Expected playing XI: Delhi Daredevils: Quinton de Kock, Sanju Samson, Karun Nair, JP Duminy, Rishabh Pant, Chris Morris, Pawan Negi, Amit Mishra, Zaheer Khan (C), Mohammed Shami, Imran Tahir.
KKR: Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Suryakumar Yadav, Shakib Al Hasan, Andre Russell, Yusuf Pathan, R Sathish, Piyush Chawla, Umesh Yadav, Sunil Narine.