About the Match
Fans in Kolkata didn’t get to see the men in blue in action at the World T20 finals but they will be excited to cheer for the Kolkata Knight Riders when the hosts take on Delhi Daredevils in their opening match of the IPL 2016 at Kolkata on 10th April. Both teams have talented players, who bring their expertise and competitive edge; while KKR has tasted success twice, the Daredevils are yet to lift the trophy. The two teams will definitely try to come out all guns blazing on a pitch known to be a batting turf; it needs to be seen which side can hold its nerves together to pull off a win here.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Gautam Gambhir may not feature in the national side but he surely knows how to lead this team to victories in the prestigious IPL tournament; he leads from the front at the top-order and can be ruthless when it comes to scoring the big runs. Along with others like Shakib Al Hasan, the all-round match-winner from Bangladesh, Colin Munro, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Andre Russell, the experienced Brad Hogg and John Hastings, the batting line-up looks strong and deep.
Sunil Narine will provide the lead spin attack after his bowling action was cleared; he is very effective in containing runs during death overs and can take wickets regularly. Morne Morkel will lead the pace attack while Umesh Yadav, Munro, Jason Holder and Russell bring in variety to the squad. Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, spinner Piyush Chawla, youngster Jaydev Unadkat and old-horse Yusuf Pathan add depth to the bowling attack and Gambhir will use his resources well to outwit the opposition.
Overall, they have been the team to look out for in many previous seasons and will definitely give the other teams a run for their money this time too.
Experienced seamer Zaheer Khan will lead the team this season and give a fresh breath to the squad aspiring to win their maiden title; with the sensational Windies player Carlos Brathwaite, who helped the Windies win the World T20 title last week, in the batting line-up, the Daredevils look well-placed to challenge any strong bowling attack. Spin magician Imran Tahir, speedster Nathan Coulter-Nile and medium pacer Mohammad Sami will feature in the squad and they can pull out some tricks to stump the opponents.
Explosive top-order batsman Quinton de Kock is in good form and can knock a few punches; JP Duminy can stabilize the middle order and along with youngsters like Mayank Agarwal, Shreyas Iyer, Sam Billings, Sanju Samson and Karun Nair, the Daredevils can surely come out all guns blazing here.
The bowling attack has good variety with players like Pawan Negi, Pratyush Singh, Shahbaz Nadeem and Amit Mishra bringing their spin talents to the table; Chris Morris and Pawan Suyal can assist Zaheer and Coulter-Nile in the pace attack. With proper planning and strategy, they can surely prove to be a tough unit to crack.
The Daredevils are a rejuvenated side with several match-winners in the team; however, with the home advantage, the Knight Riders look better placed to win their opening match on Sunday