IPL 2017 Match 18 preview: In-form KKR take on the dangerous Daredevils

Match 18: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Daredevils at Delhi, Apr 17, 2017

Feroze Shah Kotla Stadium ( Capacity 50,000)
Monday, 17th April
16:00 hrs IST

Sitting pretty at the second spot of the points table with three wins in four games, Kolkata Knight Riders face an uphill task to consolidate their spot as they face off against an increasingly threatening Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Monday (April 17). Despite KKR being the team with a set formula and DD carrying the reputation of being just the opposite, this clash is going to be between the two evenly-matched sides. The visitors have a reliable top-order providing the runs, despite the injury to Lynn, and the hosts have contributions coming from all over. That, however, doesn’t take anything away from the fact that Kolkata’s batting faces potentially one of its biggest test against Delhi’s bowlers who have been both penetrating at the start and miserly in the death overs. Delhi’s batting frailties, on the other hand, could come to the fore with their persistent problem of losing wickets in the heap. The KKR bowling bandwagon has been firing in unison and that they have defended scores of 170-odd in consecutive games is a testimony to the fact.

Team News:
There is little reason for Delhi to tamper with their playing XI. Karun Nair’s spot in the playing XI had come under the scanner after his repeated failures and a tendency to fall prey to the short ball ploy. The Karnataka batsman could however be given a longer rope to prove his credentials. The bowling unit has no concerns whatsoever and, unless there is any injury concern, doesn’t warrant a change.
There hasn’t been an update on Lynn’s injury status but the fact that the Australian is sticking around with the unit could be proof enough that the concerns aren’t as serious as they were initially thought to be. That said, he is an unlikely starter against Delhi. The nature of the pitch could determine which one of Shakib Al Hasan, who is fit and available, and Colin de Grandhomme make it to the XI.

Ideal Playing XI
Kolkata Knight Riders: Sam Billings, Sanju Samson, Karun Nair, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Chris Morris, Corey Anderson, Pat Cummins, Zaheer Khan (C), Shahbaz Nadeem, Amit Mishra.

Delhi Daredevils: Gautam Gambhir (C), Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Suryakumar Yadav, Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Chris Woakes, Kuldeep Yadav, Trent Boult, Umesh Yadav

Match prediction: Given the form of these two teams, it is going to be a very tight game. But given the home advantage for Delhi, we predict Delhi to win the game.