India's biggest sporting extravaganza, Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013 is here and the last season's winners Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will take on the Delhi Daredevils in the opening match at Eden Gardens, Kolkata on Wednesday night.
Kolkata Knight Riders will be looking forward to defend their title, which only Chennai Super Kings have arrived (2010 and 2011), and their first challenge is against the depleted Delhi Daredevils team.
KKR may have to sweat out to defend the title having to beat many strong teams but they certainly have an upper hand in the opening match. Besides home ground advantage, Delhi Daredevils have been hit by injuries of their key players.
But surprisingly, Kolkata Knight Riders has a history of bad performance at home. They won only three of the seven matches played at home in the last season.
Kolkata Knight Riders: New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum and Australian seamer James Pattinson will miss the opening IPL match due to injuries.
The team still has a good batting line-up in Gautam Gambhir, Jacques Kallis, Manvinder Bisla and Manoj Tiwary but the current poor form of the first two is a worry factor. Bowlers like Ryan TenDoeschate, Yusuf Pathan, Laxmi Shukla, Sachithra Senanayake and Brett Lee could trouble Delhi Daredevils' batsmen.
Delhi Daredevils: The sixth season of the IPL is not going to be easy for the Delhi Daredevils, at least in the initial stage of the league, as some of its key players like Kevin Pietersen, Jesse Ryder and Varun Aaron are out due to injuries. Adding more salt to the wounds, Virender Sehwag could also sit out of the opening match due to back injury.
The team will look forward to captain Mahela Jayawardene, Unmukt Chand and Virender Sehwag to put up good score on the board. With a strong bowling line-up in Ajit Agarkar, Ashish Nehra, Irfan Pathan, Andre Russell and Umesh Yadav.
Verdict: Kolkata Knight Riders should beat the depleted Delhi Daredevils team.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (c), Brendon McCullum, Brett Lee, Debabrata Das, Eoin Morgan, Iqbal Abdulla, Jacques Kallis, James Pattinson, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Manoj Tiwary, Manvinder Bisla, Shami Ahmed, Pradeep Sangwan, Rajat Bhatia, Ryan McLaren, Ryan ten Doeschate, Sachithra Senanayake, Sarabjit Ladda, Shakib Al Hassan, Sunil Narine, Yusuf Pathan
Delhi Daredevils: Mahela Jayawardene (c), Ajit Agarkar, Andre Russell, Arisht Singhvi, Ashish Nehra, CM Gautam, David Warner, Gulam Bodi, Irfan Pathan, Jeevan Mendis, Johan Botha, Kedar Jadhav, Manpreet Juneja, Morne Morkel, Naman Ojha, Pawan Negi, Roelof Van Der Merwe, Royston Dias, Siddarth Kaul, Sujit Nayak, Shahbaz Nadeem, Umesh Yadav, Unmukt Chand, Venugopal Rao, Virender Sehwag, Yogesh Nagar
Where to Watch Live
The match will begin at 8:00 pm IST and will be telecast live on Sony Set Max channel.