Kolkata Knight Riders are on a red hot form in the 2017 IPL as they have won three of their first four matches. Currently placed second in the IPL points table, Kolkata will look to dethrone Mumbai Indians from the top spot when they take on Delhi Daredevils at the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium later today.
They are coming into this match after beating the defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad by 17 runs at the Eden Gardens. Chris Lynn, who was brilliant for KKR in the first two match, is yet to recover from the shoulder injury he sustained earlier in the tournament and will miss the match against DD. KKR will look to fix the areas where they are vulnerable (especially their middle order) and are set to make at least one change in their playing XI from their previous match.
Shakib-al-Hasan is likely to come in place of Colin de Grandhomme or Chris Woakes while it won’t be a surprise if Ishank Jaggi is picked ahead of either Suryakumar Yadav or Yusuf Pathan. Let us take a look at how they will line up for the game against Delhi Daredevils.
Gautam Gambhir has been in a fine form in the 2017 IPL. The Knight Riders’ skipper lost the orange cap to Mumbai Indians’ Nitish Rana and will look to regain it when he walks out to bat against Delhi Daredevils. Gambhir will look to cash in and score a lot of runs as he is returning to his home ground, Ferozeshah Kotla cricket stadium.
After a match-winning knock in KKR’s previous match, it won’t be a bad idea to stop experimenting and allow Robin Uthappa to bat at a position in which he has scored a lot of runs for the team in the past, opening. He looked good in the last couple of games and the team management should make him open the innings.
With the exception of Manish Pandey, the Knight Riders’ middle order batsmen are struggling to get going in this year’s IPL. Manish has looked solid in the matches he has played so far and will look to make a case for himself in finding a place in the Indian XI for the 2017 Champions Trophy. Allowing Uthappa, Gambhir and Manish bat in the top-3 will make sure that KKR have their best batsmen in the right positions. KKR vice-captain Surya Kumar Yadav is yet to live up his reputation in this year’s tournament. His form has been a major concern for the team and the Mumbaikar has to come good with the bat. KKR will be tempted to give him few more chances before they turn to Ishank Jaggi in the upcoming matches.
The form of Yusuf Pathan should worry Gautam Gambhir as the right-hander has rarely scored runs whenever he comes out to bat since the start of last year’s IPL. The right-hander should re-invent himself and do what he does the best. If he fails to perform, KKR might even drop him to accommodate Ishank Jaggi. Having mentioned about KKR’s fragile middle-order, the team management should look to bring in someone who can bind the innings together if the top 3 batsmen fail. Shakib-al-Hasan fits the bill perfectly and it won’t be a surprise if he gets the nod for the game against Delhi in place of Colin de Grandhomme after missing Knight Riders’ first four games this season.