Delhi Daredevils will host Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday, May 7, 2012, in a match between two teams vying for the top spot in the group.
DD are currently three points ahead and along with Gambhir’s men have virtually qualified for the play off round. This match must be seen as an attempt to wrest psychological advantage by sides that are likely to meet in the final on May 27.
Sehwag will not have the services of his in-form batsman, Kevin Pietersen, who is on national duty for England and that could prove a body blow to DD’s title aspirations. Pietersen is likely to be replaced by Warner.That worry apart, DD’s batting is arguably the strongest in the competition, with Jayawardene and Sehwag also among the runs. Their bowlers have also stood up to be counted when it mattered with Morne Morkel absolutely outstanding.
KKR have gone from strength to strength in the competition and their defeat of PW in the last game was also evidence of their mental toughness, a quality that appeared to eb absent in the first four editions of the IPL.
However, their batting has been fragile and overly reliant on Gambhir, as evidenced by the collapse against PW after the openers departed. From 113/1 after 13 overs, KKR slumped to 150 in 20 overs. Unless the likes of Pathan and Kallis regain form, KKR’s title bid could suffer on the back of their patchy batting.
But like DD, KKR have been able to rely on their bowlers who have delivered whenever required to do so. Lee has been brilliant and he has received support from the likes of Balaji but the truly outstanding bowler has been Sunil Narine who has intrigued all rival batsmen to date and could prove to be their winning card on May 7.
DD’s probable eleven: Sehwag, Jayawardene, Warner, Taylor, Pathan, Ojha, Nagar, Agarkar, Morkel, Yadav, Nadeem.
KKR’s probable eleven: Gambhir, McCullum, Kallis, Tiwary, Pathan, Das, Bhatia, Shukla, Narine, Abdulla, de Lange.
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