On Monday, KKR began their season with a win against Royal Challengers Bangalore, but have since lost two games on the bounce. It is not yet time for the alarm bells to ring, but KKR will be aware they could have converted those two defeats to wins with only a slightly better performance. Their match against the Chennai Super Kings was decided in the final over; CSK got across the line with one ball to spare. Against Sunrisers Hyderabad, they fought hard right to the end despite scoring a modest 138-8 SRH’s run-chase got tricky, but they eventually got across the line with one over to spare.
There’s no denying KKR have issues with their combination; having the smallest squad in the competition isn’t helping them too. The batting position of Sunil Narine has a big impact on the rest of the line-up; the Trinidadian has had success at the top, and it is best KKR ask him to open the innings. The young kid Shubman Gill is wasted in the lower middle order; KKR could instead include the in-form Ishank Jaggi, for his experience and his proven ability to strike the ball. KKR’s Sunil Narine will be the one bowler the Delhi Daredevils batsmen will look at playing out. Narine may not have collected too many wickets in recent times, but he has been extremely difficult to score off. His bowling figures so far 1-30, 1-17 and 2-17.
Head to Head
Overall: Matches – 19, Kolkata Knight Riders won – 12, Delhi Daredevils won – 7
At the Eden Gardens: Matches – 7, Kolkata Knight Riders won – 6, Delhi Daredevils won – 1