Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils were disappointing last season, failing to reach the playoff stages of the IPL. Both teams will be eager to perform and excel in IPL 2016.
Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils will be keen to get off to a winning start in their huge clash Sunday at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata. With all teams in IPL 2016 being equally strong, KKR and DD are aware of the importance of their first game. Winning the first game can set the tone for the rest of IPL 2016.
Kolkata Knight Riders have their core squad from last season, and brought in only a few players during the auction in February. Colin Munro, Jason Holder and John Hastings were their key signings. With Andre Russell, Yusuf Pathan, Morne Morkel and Manish Pandey, who performed well last season, KKR have a strong squad.
But it was completely different for Delhi Daredevils, who brought in a number of players during the auction. Some of their notable signings were Sam Billings, Chris Morris and Carlos Brathwaite. They have a strong squad, with Zaheer Khan, Qunton de Kock and JP Duminy as their major stars.
With such quality stars in both the teams, a huge game is expected Sunday. World T20-winning hero from West Indies Brathwaite will be one of the key players to watch from the Delhi Daredevils. The DD thinktank will want their West Indian all-rounder to deliver like he did for West Indies in the recently concluded competition. So there are bound to be expectations from the player, who is ready to bat wherever he is asked to.
"I will bat wherever the team requires and if the team decides that they need to use me at a particular number then I need to adapt to that position and do the best I can for my team," Cricbuzz quoted Brathwaite as saying.
"If the situation asks me to bat in the same way that I do for West Indies then I also need to adapt to that and do what I need to do - even if that requires me hitting one six or doing it by singles, I am prepared to do that for the franchise. It is about adapting all the time to make sure that the Daredevils come out on top in each and every game".
But they cannot rely too much on the youngster. Other players like de Kock and Karun Nair need to bat well and provide a solid platform for their hitters like Pathan and Brathwaite to fire. Scoring runs will not be too easy against KKR, who have a strong bowling unit. Morkel will spearhead the attack and other bowlers like Piyush Chawla and Umesh Yadav need to support him as well.
KKR have always been brilliantly supported, and their fans will want their batsmen to fire on all cylinders against DD. Their batting looks solid, with experienced openers Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa keen to provide a great start to the KKR. Kolkata also have Chris Lynn, who was sensational during the Big Bash with his big-hitting exploits, and if he fires, KKR should score big in their opening match.
They also have the much-needed firepower in the middle order. Russell and Pathan are known for their massive hitting, but what makes them effective in the IPL is their all-round batting ability, which needs to be on show against the Delhi Daredevils.
Both teams look mighty strong on paper, but the team that adjusts well at the Eden Gardens pitch and plays as per the situation should emerge victorious.
Where to watch live
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Delhi Daredevils (DD) – is scheduled for an 8 p.m. IST (3:30 p.m. BST, 10:30 a.m. ET) start. Live TV coverage of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Delhi Daredevils (DD) IPL 2016 match will be on Sony Max, Sony Six, Sony Six HD, Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD. Live streaming options are available on Hotstar and Starsports.com.
Viewers in the US can watch Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Daredevils on ESPN, while the game can also be live streamed on Watch ESPN. Sportsnet and viewers in Canada can watch the Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Daredevils live on Watch Sportsnet
OSN Sports Cricket will show Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Daredevils live in the Middle East and North Africa, while all the action can also be watched via live streaming online on OSN Cricket Play.
Supersport 2 and Supersport Live Video will broadcast IPL 2016 match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils.
Viewers from across the world, around 133 countries, can watch the IPL 2016 match live online on Cricketgateway.