Kolkata, April 9: Two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), who have roped in some utility cricketers this season, look set to begin their Indian Premier League (IPL) season in style when they host Delhi Daredevils (DD) in an encounter at the Eden Gardens here on Sunday.
The Knights have somewhat stuck to the same squad which helped them lift the trophy in 2012 and 2014 but have maged to bring in the likes of all rounders Colin Munro, Jason Holder and John Hastings.
Delhi too have made some changes to their team from last year, adding England batsman Sam Billings and West Indies all rounder Carlos Brathwaite.
It was just last Sunday that Brathwaite smashed four consecutive sixes in the fil over to gift West Indies the World T20 trophy at the Eden. A week later he will be in different colours trying the same for his franchise.
The KKR bowlers will be wary of his strengths and therefore might rely on spin to do the trick on a wicket that turns.
Tweakers Brad Hogg and Piyush Chawla might get drafted into the fil XI, supported by Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan who bowls left arm off-spin.
Mystery spinner Sunil rine is not likely to be back for the clash, as he has returned to his country after his father’s demise.
On paper, KKR’s pace arsel is not the fiercest, but it is promising due to the presence of Umesh Yadav And Jaydev Udkat. It will once again be led by South African fast bowler Morne Morkel, who clocks 145 kmph with ease in such conditions.
Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey have been two vital cogs in the KKR batting wheel. Both have scored plenty of runs in the IPL and skipper Gautam Gambhir will again look to them to deliver the goods.
Gambhir and Uthappa feature in the fifth and sixth position among the IPL’s leading run scorers and they would want to make it count this time as well. “We are a very well balanced unit. We have great options which makes selection tough. Few new faces, which will give us a few new ideas and options. It is going to be exciting, we are looking forward to it,” KKR coach Jacques Kallis told the media here a few days ago. IANS