Raipur: After registering a morale-boosting win against Pune Warriors India, a hopeful Delhi Daredevils will aim for back-to-back victories when they face defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders in Game 44 of IPL 6 at the Raipur International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
Just like the previous match between Delhi and Pune, this match will also be a battle of survival for both the teams. Delhi have lost seven out of their nine games, while KKR, the 2012 champions, have lost six games out of nine. Kolkata would try desperately to bring their campaign back on track, while Delhi will look to win their remaining matches after a disastrous start in the league. However, Delhi know how tough it would be to win seven out of seven games in order to remain in contention for a knock-out stage berth.
Delhi have failed to finish off some close matches this season and their effort against the Pune was certainly laudable considering the situation they are in at the moment.
For Delhi, the likes of Manprit Juneja and Unmukt Chand have failed to grab the opportunities that had come their way while for KKR Yusuf Pathan has been the biggest disappointment. Despite scoring only 108 runs in nine matches with a woeful average of 18, Yusuf still finds a place in the lineup.
The pressure has been immense on captain Gautam Gambhir and Eoin Morgan, who have easily been the two best players in their side with 308 and 268 runs respectively. Gambhir, however, failed in the last two games and would like to make a comeback against Delhi. On a bouncy Raipur track, it won't be a bad idea for KKR to drop Sachitra Senanayeke, who has been struggling as of late, and bring in the experienced Brett Lee.
Delhi are likely stick to their winning combination but Ashish Nehra's fielding could lead to Ajit Agarkar's inclusion in the side. Delhi, who are virtually out of the tournament, would look forward to exact revenge after suffering a six-wicket loss at Eden Gardens in the inaugural match of the tournament.
Delhi Daredevils: 1 Mahela Jayawardene (capt), 2 Virender Sehwag, 3 Manprit Juneja/Unmukt Chand, 4 David Warner, 5 Ben Rohrer, 6 Kedar Jadhav (wk), 7 Irfan Pathan, 8 Ajit Agarkar, 9 Morne Morkel, 10 Shahbaz Nadeem, 11 Umesh Yadav
Kolkata Knight Riders: 1 Gautam Gambhir (capt), 2 Manvinder Bisla (wk), 3 Brendon McCullum, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Yusuf Pathan, 7 Debabrata Das, 8 Rajat Bhatia, 9 L Balaji, 10 Shami Ahmed, 11 Sunil Narine