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IPL 2018: Delhi Daredevils hope for turnaround against Kolkata Knight Riders

With Gautam Gambhir gone as skipper, Delhi Daredevils will hope the team responds under a rookie leader and begin revival against Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018.

cricket Updated: Apr 26, 2018 23:59 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
IPL 2018,Delhi Daredevils,Kolkata Knight Riders
Delhi Daredevils take on Kolkata Knight Riders in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match in New Delhi on Friday.(PTI)

Delhi Daredevils’ anticipation of a new Indian Premier League season has plunged into agony, and the seasoned Gautam Gambhir quitting as skipper has highlighted the crisis they are in as they face Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday.

The start of their home run left Delhi Daredevils in despair after a four-run loss to Kings XI Punjab at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Monday, and the anticipated second leg of Gambhir versus the team he led to two titles thus will be the start of what the hosts hope will help salvage another season gone horribly wrong.

READ | IPL 2018: Delhi Daredevils must shed stage fright against Kolkata Knight Riders

IPL has shown it is unforgiving if teams don’t grab their chances. And though the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore ended last in 2017 and holders Mumbai Indians too are struggling this time, Daredevils have faced the same questions season after season.

First leg defeat

Finding an opener to take on Gambhir’s role will be the least of their problem as the left-handed opener had been in woeful form. Kolkata Knight Riders will be high on confidence against a team they crushed by 71 runs at the Eden Gardens.

Daredevils’ new skipper Shreyas Iyer will have to learn fast though the demand on the 23-year-old will on continuing to deliver with the bat as getting tactics spot on will be a collective responsibility, as coach Ricky Ponting acknowledged on Wednesday.

Shreyas Iyer though will have to get over the agony of the near miss in the previous game against Kings XI Punjab on Monday. Needing 17 runs in the final over in a low-scoring game, he hit 12 but fell off the last ball when needing at least a boundary to force the Super Over.

READ | IPL 2018: Dinesh Karthik focuses on pitch ahead of Delhi Daredevils clash

The Dinesh Karthik-led Kolkata Knight Riders will look to pile on the agony against opponents deep in the drop zone and claim their second away win.

KKR’s away game

KKR are in the playoff zone at the moment, but will be wary of a backlash from a hurting side. Though they beat Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur rather comfortably, the loss to Chennai Super Kings in the final over and the batting caving in against Sunrisers Hyderabad shows they will need to find consistency away from Eden Gardens.

If the Kotla pitch plays slow, they could toy with the idea of pushing Nitish Rana, now batting at No 4 and with skipper Karthik doing the finishing job, up the order. They would have noted by KXIP kept out Chris Gayle against Daredevils on Monday.

However, a slow surface will be advantage for KKR wrist spinners, Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav and leg-spinner Piyush Chawla.

First Published: Apr 26, 2018 22:15 IST