Reeling under four successive defeats, Kolkata Knight Riders will be looking to revive their fading fortunes when they lock horns with another struggling outfit, Delhi Daredevils in their Indian Premier League match here on Wednesday.
The Knight Riders are having a tough run in the tournament, having suffered four back-to-back defeats. Their biggest concern is the floundering batting line-up, which has failed to find consistency even in the Indian leg.
Skipper Gautam Gambhir may have found his way out of the initial slump - three consecutive ducks at the start of the tournament - but hasn't done enough to lead by example. Gambhir's 54 went in vain on Monday, when a collapse saw hapless KKR losing six wickets for just two runs to slump to 123 for six from 121 for no loss against Rajasthan Royals at Motera.
South African veteran Jacques Kallis has been the only batsman to be among runs but his strike-rate has been more of a burden than a boon for the Knights, and that had forced the veteran to opt out of the last match.
As far as their bowling is concerned, Knight Riders have been relying too heavily on West Indian off-spinner Sunil Narine, who has taken 11 wickets in seven games. It will be interesting to see how KKR's three wise men - coach Trevor Bayliss, bowling consultant Wasim Akram and motivational guru Mike Horn - prepare the team for the battle ahead.
With just two wins in seven games, the Shah Rukh Khan-owned team is lying at the fifth spot and desperately need a win to inject some life into their campaign. Delhi Daredevils are also facing similar situation with Kevin Pietersen-led side having suffered their fifth loss last night following an eight-wicket hammering against Chennai Super Kings.
With problems aplenty, the Delhi unit is still banking on home games - against Knight Riders, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab - for a turnaround in fortunes.
Squads Delhi Daredevils: Kevin Pietersen (captain), M Agarwal, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, K Jadhav, D Karthik, S Kaul, Mohammed Shami, S Nadeem, James Neesham, Wayne Parnell, Rahul Sharma, LR Shukla, R Shukla, R Taylor, MK Tiwary, S Tiwary, JD Unadkat, M Vijay.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Sunil Narine, Jacques Kallis, Robin Uthappa, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Umesh Yadav, Vinay Kumar, Morne Morkel, Piyush Chawla, Manish Pandey, Veer Pratap Singh, Chris Lynn, Andre Russell, Sayan Sekhar Mandal, Pat Cummins, Debabrata Das, Suryakumar Yadav, Manvinder Bisla, Ryan ten Doeschate, Kuldeep Yadav.