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Missing pieces in Knights’ Indian puzzle

In these days of texting and tweeting, they can be called PIP and NPIP. They are Performing Indian Players (PIP) and Non-Performing Indian Players (NPIP), who make the difference between teams in the long run. Delhi Daredevils and KKR are a study in contrasts in this respect, writes Atreyo Mukhopadhyay.

cricket Updated: Apr 06, 2010 23:45 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay

In these days of texting and tweeting, they can be called PIP and NPIP. They are Performing Indian Players (PIP) and Non-Performing Indian Players (NPIP), who make the difference between teams in the long run. Delhi Daredevils and KKR are a study in contrasts in this respect. Gautam Gambhir’s team has some of the best homegrown players occupying key positions and delivering, which is why the Daredevils are where they are.

Not that Indians haven’t done well under Sourav Ganguly but he has struggled to find suitable compatriots in at least three of the seven slots. One of them is a batsman’s where Cheteshwar Pujara, Mandeep Singh and Rohan Gavaskar have been tried. None did well and it was back to Pujara in the last two games. KKR have two vulnerable bowling slots. One is Ajit Agarkar, who has been on and off after being brought in after fifth match. The other bowler is still not found as Ishant Sharma, Ashok Dinda, Mohnish Parmar and Jaidev Unadkat leaked plenty whenever used.

Left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdullah wasn’t bad in the only match he got, replacing an injured Murali Kartik, and, as a last option, it might not be a bad idea to field two of a kind. That’s because in the last 8pm tie (April 1) here the ball spun.

Daredevils coach Greg Shipperd complimented those who built the team for assembling such players, but his counterpart with KKR disagreed when asked whether there was a lack of suitable Indians. “We’ve got some good performance from Indians. The team is where it is because batting and bowling didn’t click together," said Dav Whatmore.

Sourav Ganguly, Murali Kartik, Manoj Tiwary and Wriddhiman Saha have done well, but three pieces in the puzzle are missing. Daredevils have got MoM performance from Kedar Jadhav and Amit Mishra is currently the highest wicket-taker. Take bits and pieces from Rajat Bhatia, Pradeep Sangwan and add Sehwag, Gambhir with Dinesh Karthik to the mix for a winning cocktail.