New Delhi: Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir would be keen to prove a point by putting up a solid performance against his old franchise Delhi Daredevils when the two teams square off in an Indian Premier League match at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi on Thursday.
Gambhir, who got a cold shoulder from Daredevils during the Players Retention and auctions, will definitely want to make a statement and a captain's knock against his best buddy Virender Sehwag's side will be just perfect to do that.
The Delhi Daredevils management, which by now must have realised that they botched up big time during the Players' Auction, would certainly be regretting not retaining Gambhir. On paper, the fourth-placed KKR can be termed as favourites against the Daredevils who are now second from last in the league table.
But even after the third week of the tourney set to get over, there hasn't been any clear indication about which way the tournament is veering towards.
A couple of victories can change the position of a team overnight as Royal Challengers Bangalore realised after their back-to-back wins.
With only two points separating the teams (KKR now have 6 points to DD's 4), a win for KKR will help them consolidate their position after back-to-back defeats at home against Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
For Sehwag and Company, this will be a make-or-break match as they can't afford to lose too many having already ended second best on four occasions.
However, both teams especially KKR need to look at their team composition which might be a reason for their inconsistent performance.
If one looks at KKR, Eoin Morgan has been the weak link among the four foreign recruits. With Jacques Kallis, Brad Haddin and Shakib Al Hasan automatically selecting themselves, one would expect Brett Lee to make it to the playing XI at the expense of Morgan as the Kotla track now is offering some help to the pacers.
Morgan hasn't really lived upto expectations as he has failed to provide the necessary momentum in the middle order. Skipper Gambhir would expect that Yusuf Pathan, who showed glimpses of what he is capable of during the RCB match, to fire once again.
In the bowling department, Lakshmipathy Balaji will definitely not try too many variations as he did against RCB and that too with disastrous results. Shakib, who is jointly KKR's leading wicket-taker with seven scalps, will also like to get his rhythm back after getting a thrashing from Gayle in the previous match.