Gautam Gambhir would be looking forward to defeating his home team when he leads Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) out against Delhi Daredevils (DD) for the second time in IPL 10. The Kolkata outfit had won the previous match by four wickets and would be firm favourites to win again at their home turf of Eden Gardens. KKR have been in sensational form, with a massive win over Royal Challengers Bangalore being followed up with an equally impressive victory over Rising Pune Supergiant.
KKR have 12 points from eight matches at a commanding net run rate of +1.153 while Mumbai Indians, the other form team, have +0.514.
Time is running out fast for DD, who are languishing at seventh in the eight-team standings with four points from six matches.
Having suffered a hat-trick of losses, DD , on the other hand, will be playing their first match in six days and the captain-mentor duo of Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid would hope that they return rejuvenated against an in-form team enjoying a 7-11 win-loss record.
Delhi have a top-class pace bowling attack in Pat Cummins, Chris Morris and Kagiso Rabada, who made an impressive debut in their last match in Mumbai, which they lost by 14 runs.
They will have to deal a commanding Gambhir and 'surprise weapon' Sunil Narine up the batting order.
Narine's unexpected success with the bat has ensured that KKR do not miss the injured Chris Lynn who's recovering from a shoulder injury after his two-match blitz.
Narine (182.66) is only second to Lynn (192.30) as far as strike rate is concerned, a fact that can be attributed to KKR's stupendous success.
Marlon Samuels replaces Quinton de Kock
Meanwhile, West Indian all-rounder Marlon Samuels has replaced an injured Quinton de Kock in Delhi Daredevils for the remainder of the IPL season. De Kock had been ruled with an injury to his right index finger he picked up during the New Zealand tour last month. Samuels was among the unsold players in the auction this year. He last played in the IPL in 2013 for Pune Warriors.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (capt), Darren Bravo, Trent Boult, Piyush Chawla, Nathan Coulter Nile, Colin De Grandhomme, Rishi Dhawan, Sayan Ghosh, Shaikb Al-Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Ishank Jaggi, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Woakes, Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Ankit Rajpoot, Suryakumar Yadav, Robin Uthappa and Umesh Yadav.
Delhi Daredevils: Zaheer Khan (capt), Mohammad Shami, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jayant Yadav, Amit Mishra, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant, CV Milind, Khaleel Ahmed, Pratyush Singh, Murugan Ashwin, Aditya Tare, Shashank Singh, Ankit Bawane, Navdeep Saini, Corey Anderson, Angelo Mathews, Pat Cummins, Kagiso Rabada, Chris Morris, Carlos Brathwaite, Sam Billings.
(With inputs from PTI)