IPL-8: Hosts KKR look to make most of spin-friendly conditions
Kolkata: Defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders, having been in some discomfort from recent turn of events, have again found hurray at home. Monday's emphatic victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Eden Gardens has brought the wind back into their sail as IPL-8's long league stage enters its business end.
KKR spinner Brad Hogg
The Knights, on their final run of home matches, will want to make the most of it before they are back on the road for a couple of tricky clashes.
If the 35-run win buttressed belief, the manner in which it was achieved would have firmed up faith in familiar methods. On a signature home track with its slow turn, KKR got the extra spinner in the mix at the expense of a pacer and clinched it in clinical fashion.
With Brad Hogg filling the slot with elan, even the absence of Sunil Narine went unnoticed. It will be tempting for KKR to use the same template today but Delhi Daredevils, their opponents in the second of three consecutive home matches, may well relish such a strategy from KKR.
In Amit Mishra and Imran Tahir, the Daredevils too have quality when it comes to exploiting a spinning track. JP Duminy and Yuvraj Singh can add a string to that bow if conditions are right, and in experienced left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, they have the option of strengthening that department.
If KKR persist with the successful formula of a spinning track, it may come down to who bats better in these conditions. It's here that KKR have their nose in front with most of their batsmen good players of spin, and many of them are in form. But, then, it doesn't take more than a few good men to carry away a T20 game.
In Duminy and Yuvraj, the Daredevils have irrepressible match-winners. Both displayed glimpses of that ability at the Wankhede on Tuesday though in a losing cause.
DD desperate to win
The defeat to Mumbai Indians leaves the Daredevils in a more desperate situation than the Knights, who have managed to stay in the top four. Languishing in sixth position, DD need a win to keep alive their chances of squeezing into the knockout rounds.