IPL: Delhi Daredevils vs Kolkata Knight Riders Preview

Cricketer hits ball

Jonhenry Wilson previews Friday's IPL fixture which sees the Delhi Daredevils host the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Feroz Shah Kotla.

This season has yielded just one victory for the Delhi Daredevils so far, prompting the early resignation of captain Gautam Gambhir. Successor Shreyas Iyer and company haven't quite been allowed a clean slate, but their attempt to bounce back starts now.

The Kolkata Knight Riders will be the first to admit they haven't been at their best, with three wins and as many defeats epitomising their mid-table mediocrity. A win over Delhi, though, could promptly push them into the top three.

DD vs KKR | Friday, 27 April | Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi | 16:30

To Win Match
Delhi Daredevils 23/20
Tie 35/1 
Kolkata Knight Riders 72/100

Delhi Daredevils
First things first, Delhi are now confronted with the awkward choice of dropping Gambhir the batsman or not. He didn't really add value as a skipper and his authority as an opener should be questioned. His last four innings have, indeed, brought just 30 runs. Now seems the time to draft in a top-order alternative - or promote Glenn Maxwell or Rishabh Pant to the helm of the knock.

Delhi made all of five changes to their XI against the Kings XI Punjab. The switches in personnel still resulted in defeat, but they can be pleased with the debut of Liam Plunkett, who is tipped to play ahead of Chris Morris again. The England seamer certainly offers more with the ball than the South African all-rounder, whose positive impact with the bat has been waning anyway.

The teams met less than two weeks ago, at Eden Gardens, where the Knight Riders were comfortable victors. Maxwell and Pant were pretty successful then, regardless, and to reiterate, deserve the opportunity to spend longer at the crease. Trent Boult, meanwhile, will need to be right on cue with masterful slower deliveries and pinpoint yorkers again.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata will do well to exploit Delhi's obvious recent frailties - and quickly get on top of opposition getting to grips with new leadership. Iyer is a mere 23 years old, but has been backed by coach Ricky Ponting and the rest of the brains trust. He simply can't afford to let his primary role with the bat be negatively effected by the additional responsibility of the captaincy, though.

The Knight Riders haven't played a match in almost a week - a lengthy period amid an otherwise jam-packed period. This hiatus can swing one of two ways: they will be ring rusty or refreshed by the break. Their batsman, in particular Chris Lynn and Dinesh Karthik, will be eager to pick up where they left off against the Kings XI Punjab six days ago.

Since the 2014 tournament, Kolkata have beaten Friday's opposition six times in eight attempts. Their most recent defeat to Delhi, in 2016, was at the Feroz Shah Kotla - the same ground for Friday's encounter. The visitors will be mindful of not letting the conditions get the better of them - and South African Cameron Delport sports an outside chance of being tasked to bash the ball early on a lower, slower pitch.

Verdict: Kolkata Knight Riders 72/100
The Daredevils are in rebuilding phase, a mere third of the way into the competition. The Knight Riders, meanwhile, have gathered enough momentum to suggest they'll take this one easily.

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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