The second day’s fixture of the Indian Premier League’s fifth edition will be a match at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata as Kolkata Knight Riders will host Delhi Daredevils in their first game of the season.
The two teams go head-to-head in a clash where a lot of difference will be made based on how the two skippers – Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir – perform with the bat along with effectively leading their squads.
KKR captain Gambhir has not been in his best form recently as he failed to deliver during India’s tour Down Under. That poor show in the CB series in Australia proved costly for the Delhi-born lad as he was stripped of the vice-captaincy of the Indian team during the Asia Cup.
The situation of Virender Sehwag has been no better than his opening partner for India. In the past few months, Sehwag has looked like a shadow of his former self, of course leaving aside his record double hundred. A lot irresponsible shots and reckless thinking have rendered him a batsman who can be easily dismissed.
The Knight Riders have almost the entire squad available for selection. On the other side, the Daredevils will face problems in getting good players as replacements for Mahela Jayawardene, David Warner and Kevin Pietersen, who are all currently playing for the national teams.
The match will display and interesting face-off between brothers Irfan and Yusuf Pathan, who have recently made their way back into the national ODI team. And both the Baroda players will have a point to prove with a view to retain their places in the squad.
After a surprising defeat of Chennai Super Kings by Mumbai Indians yesterday, it would be hard to predict the outcome of any game from now, particularly the one between Kolkata and Delhi which are equally good sides.
But, given the absence of key men like Jayawardene and David Warner in the squad, Kolkata will hold an upper edge on Thursday.