Dubai: Delhi Daredevils are gearing up to get their campaign back on track amid uncertainty over the availability of their best batsman Kevin Pietersen for the Indian Premier League match against Kolkata Knight Riders who will look to continue their winning momentum here on Saturday.
Delhi Daredevils will again rely on JP Duminy if KP misses the tie
While the Daredevils were beaten black and blue by Royal Challengers Bangalore in their opening match, the Knight Riders kicked off their campaign in the best possible manner, posting a thumping 41-run win over defending champions Mumbai Indians.
In the event of Pietersen missing out on another game, the Daredevils will again have to rely heavily on their two other overseas stars, J P Duminy and Ross Taylor. Both batted beautifully in their opening game and revived the team from a tottering 17 for three to 145 for four in 20 overs.
After a miserable outing against RCB, Mayank Agarwal, Dinesh Karthik, who led the side in the absence of Pietersen, and Manoj Tiwary will need to pull their socks up against Kolkata.
Like Agarwal, opener Murali Vijay, who got out after settling in with a four and a six, will need to provide a better start to Daredevils' innings.
Bowling was also a matter of worry in the opening game, especially the spinners, with both Shahbaz Nadeem and Rahul Sharma going for runs against the rampaging duo of Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli. They will have to bowl with a lot more variation besides hitting the right line and length.
On the other hand, the Knight Riders will be high on confidence after the big win against Mumbai Indians.
Old warhorse Jacques Kallis once again showed that age can't wear him down, with an enterprising knock, which set up the game for the Knight Riders. Having started the tournament with an equally brilliant half century, Manish Pandey will also look to continue in similar vein.
On the lookout for runs will also be skipper Gautam Gambhir, who was dismissed for a nought on Wednesday.
Yusuf Pathan, who is back in India for the birth of his baby boy, might miss the game though.
As far as the bowling department is concerned, mystery spinner Sunil Narine continues to bamboozle batsmen with his guile. He left the Mumbai batsmen clueless, finishing with excellent figures of 4/20, and one can always expect a similar outing from the Trinidadian.
KKR will take confidence from the fact that besides Narine, the others in R Vinay Kumar, Morne Morkel, Shakib Al Hasan and Piyush Chawla also bowled economically. And then there is Kallis too, to fall back on when the chips are down.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (c), Sunil Narine, Jacques Kallis, Robin Uthappa, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Umesh Yadav, Vinay Kumar, Morne Morkel, Piyush Chawla, Manish Pandey, Veer Pratap Singh, Chris Lynn, Andre Russell, SS Mandal, Pat Cummins, Debabrata Das, Suryakumar Yadav, Manvinder Bisla, Ryan ten Doeschate, Kuldeep Yadav.
Delhi Daredevils: Dinesh Karthik, Murali Vijay, Ross Taylor, Quinton De Kock, Mohammed Shami, Jaydev Unadkat, Manoj Tiwary, Rahul Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jean-Paul Duminy, Kedar Jadhav, SIdharth Kaul, Milind Kumar, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jimmy Neesham, Wayne Parnell, HS Sharath, Laxmi Shukla, Rahul Shukla, Jayant Yadav, Saurabh Tiwary.