IPL 2017: It's spinners in the limelight as Kolkata Knight Riders take on Delhi Daredevils

Apr 17, 2017, 14:20 IST | Santosh Suri

Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders’ spinners may play a crucial role in their team’s fortunes during today’s encounter on a slow Kotla pitch

Delhi Daredevils spinner Shahbaz Nadeem (right) celebrates the fall of a Kings XI Punjab wicket with teammates during the IPL-10 match at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday. Pic/AFP
Delhi Daredevils spinner Shahbaz Nadeem (right) celebrates the fall of a Kings XI Punjab wicket with teammates during the IPL-10 match at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday. Pic/AFP

Delhi: On a sluggish Kotla pitch on a hot Monday afternoon, it is going to be a royal battle between the spinners, who are having it good in IPL-10. Delhi Daredevils have Shahbaz Nadeem and Amit Mishra while Kolkata Knight Riders bank on Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav. The pair of spinners can torment any batting line-up and it has been their efforts more than anything else, which have been instrumental in the respective teams making a decent start.

There is no doubt the spinners will relish the conditions as was seen during Daredevils' impressive win over Kings XI Punjab on Saturday night.

KKR to play Shakib?

In such a situation, KKR may be tempted to include Shakib Al Hasan, the Bangladesh all-rounder, who has yet to make an appearance this IPL. His inclusion can provide a much-needed boost to the batting and bowling. It's the home ground of KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir, and as he knows the conditions well. He will have to take the call on playing three spinners in order to make the most of it.

Daredevils, at the moment, have a well settled combination, with their bowling attack doing an excellent job, so much so that ace India seamer Mohammed Shami has been unable to find a place in the XI. Shami has recovered from his injury and has been going all out during practice sessions, which augurs well for his team. There is no doubt that sooner or later he will get a look-in, especially when the tournament approaches its business end.

Focus on young turks

Daredevils' young turks, Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer will be eager to make amends as they were unable to fire against KXIP. With the pitch on the slower side, the requirement is of judicious strokeplay and that's what the trio will have to keep in mind while building the innings.

Both teams were involved in matches on Saturday and thus chose not to have a practice session on the eve of the match yesterday, giving time to their players to recover for today's battle in the afternoon when the temperature is likely to be in excess of 40 degrees. There is no doubt the team winning the toss would like to bat first, post a decent total and then throttle the opposition. It will be interesting to see if a team can buck that trend.

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Captains' Wishlist

Zaheer Khan: Delhi Daredevils

  • Batsman Sam Billings carries on his good form
  • Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem is among wickets again
  • KKR batsman Robin Uthappa fails to fire

Gautam Gambhir: Kolkata Knight Riders

  • He is able to tackle the wily Zaheer Khan well 
  • Yusuf Pathan returns to his big-hitting best
  • Delhi Daredevils pacer Chris Morris has an off day

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