Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Start time 20.00 (local), 14.30 (GMT)
The Big Picture
After 34 matches and well into the second half of the league, Kolkata and Delhi finally meet each other - and the timing couldn’t be better. Their progress has been markedly different but, having played eight games each, they are now level on points and separated only by the slimmest of margins: a difference of 0.045 in the net run-rate puts Kolkata above Delhi. Both are currently competing for the final semi-final spot and, with each match, the margin for error becomes smaller.
Kolkata, however, have the momentum - crucial in the Twenty20 format - after ending a four-match losing streak with two consecutive victories, albeit against the weakest sides, Bangalore Royal Challengers and Deccan Chargers. Their batting remains frail at the top - the latest combination of Aakash Chopra and Salman Butt was their sixth in eight games - and they rely primarily on David Hussey in the middle order to boost their totals. However, Sourav Ganguly, one of few icon players to perform significantly, was the Man of the Match in both of Kolkata’s recent wins and his form will be crucial to their semi-final aspirations. Ganguly and Hussey mask what is otherwise a batting line-up that lacks punch.
Delhi, at one stage, looked strong enough to top the league with four wins in five games. That run was halted, however, by a hat-trick of defeats against strong opposition - the resurgent Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals. The common feature in those defeats was a weak performance from the middle order after the starts provided by Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Shikhar Dhawan. Delhi lack the presence of an enforcer in the lower-middle order, someone with the hitting abilities of Albie Morkel or Shane Watson, which has allowed opponents to dominate towards the latter half of the innings.
Kolkata Knight Riders: P8, W4, L4, NRR +0.545
Delhi Daredevils: P8, W4, L4, NRR +0.500
IPL form (last five matches, most recent first)
Kolkata Knight Riders: WWLLL
Delhi Daredevils: LLLWW
Watch out for …
Kolkata have not rushed Shoaib into action since he became available for selection but, during the game against Deccan, Shoaib said that he would be fit to play the next match. If he is to be accommodated, it will be at the expense of either Butt or Umar Gul, who was profligate on Sunday. Kolkata do not have too many Indian batting options to replace Butt but a fast-bowling attack comprising Shoaib, Ishant, Gul and Ashok Dinda might be too good to pass up.
Kolkata Knight Riders (probable): 1 Salman Butt, 2 Aakash Chopra, 3 Sourav Ganguly (capt), 4 David Hussey, 5 Tatenda Taibu, 6 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 7 Laxmi Ratan Shukla, 8 Murali Kartik, 9 Shoaib Akhtar, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Ashok Dinda.
Delhi replaced their Pakistan contingent - Malik and Asif - with the Sri Lankans Tillakaratne Dilshan and Farveez Maharoof for Sunday’s game against Jaipur and are likely to retain the combination. Legspinner Amit Mishra took 2 for 27 off three overs and might hold his place. Delhi still haven’t explored the option of making de Villiers keep wicket and replacing Dinesh Karthik, who’s scored 73 runs in five innings, with either Manoj Tiwary or Rajat Bhatia.
Delhi Daredevils (probable): 1 Virender Sehwag (capt), 2 Gautam Gambhir, 3 Shikhar Dhawan, 4 AB de Villiers, 5 Dinesh Karthik, 6 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 7 Amit Mishra, 8 Farveez Maharoof, 9 Pradeep Sangwan, 10 V Yomahesh, 11 Glenn McGrath.
Stats and trivia
“The idea is not to give him room on or around the off-stump. We have to bowl in the right areas more often before he takes the game away from us.”
Source:Cricket NewsMore on:David Hussey, Delhi Daredevils, IPL, Kolkata Knight Riders, Salman Butt, Shoaib Akhtar, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Tuesday, May 13th, 2008 and is filed under General, Cricket.
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