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IPL 2018: KKR will look to blunt DD’s Gambhir’s effect at Eden Gardens

Dinesh KarthikNot in fine fettle after facing two successive defeats, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will be forced to travel down memory lane as they welcome their most successful captain Gautam Gambhir, who is now in the opposite camp. In Indian Premier League (IPL 2018), Gambhir is in charge of Delhi Daredevils (DD), against whom KKR will be playing their match today at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Delhi Daredevils will look to climb up the Vivo IPL points table, while Kolkata Knight Riders will be keen to arrest their own slide. For this, KKR will have to do a lot of soul-searching first and organise their batting better.Gambhir helped KKR win titles in 2012 and 2014 before moving to his hometown franchise Delhi Daredevils for IPL 2018. Kolkata Knight Riders handed over the captaincy to Dinesh Karthik, who has so far looked out of sorts in the last two games, where KKR finished second best to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). Kolkata had made a winning start to their campaign against Royals Challenger Bangalore at Eden Gardens but successive defeats next two matches have put them in a spot of bother. There is no denying that Kolkata Knight Riders have issues with their combination and having the smallest squad in the competition isn’t helping them too. The batting position of Sunil Narine has a big impact on the rest of the line-up. Narine has been successful at the top for Shahrukh’s team, and it will be best for KKR to ask him to open the innings. The U-19 world cup star Shubman Gill was wasted in the lower middle order against Sunrishers Hyderabad and KKR must look to move him up the batting order so that they can utilise his talent.Delhi Daredevils, on the other hand, lost to Kings XI Punjab in their opener and then went down against Rajasthan Royals in a rain-hit match. But the Gambhir-led side bounced back in style against Mumbai with Jason Roy smashing an unbeaten 91 in his debut match for Delhi Daredevils in IPL 2018.It will be Gambhir who will have the upper hand despite DD’s poor 8-12 head-to-head record against KKR. Gautam Gambhir, who was associated with KKR since 2011, has better knowledge of the conditions and he will be keen to make a point against his former franchise, who did not retain him for IPL 2018.Here what to look forward to as Kolkata Knight Riders will take on Delhi Daredevils in today’s match at Eden Gardens:Delhi Daredevils’ batsmen that will make an impact in today’s match against KKR: Jason Roy made a fine impression on his debut for the Delhi Daredevils against Mumbai Indians as he remained unbeaten in his previous inning and DD will want him to carry on from where left his innings in the previous match. Having Jason Roy in the playing XI, Delhi Daredevils now have three batsmen with strike-rates of over 140 in their batting line-up with 144 for Jason Roy,157 for Glen Maxwell and 162 for Rishabh Pant.Kolkata Knight Riders’ bowler that will make an impact in today’s match against DD: Kolkata Knight Riders’ strength lies in their three-pronged spin attack led by mystery spinner Sunil Narine and also has celebrated chinaman Kuldeep Yadav and veteran leggie Piyush Chawla. Narine was exceptional against SRH on Saturday, conceding just 17 runs in four overs and also taking the timely wickets of Wriddhiman Saha, who looked good for his 15-ball 24 and in-form Shikhar Dhawan (7). Kuldeep and Chawla also kept it tight as their pacer bowlers kept leaking runs.Delhi Daredevils’ bowlers that will make an impact in today’s match against KKR: Delhi Daredevils have some issues in their bowling department which has failed to deliver in each of the three games played so far. Having astar-studdedd bowling line-up with likes of Trent Boult, Mohammed Sham and Chris Morris there are very high expectations from these international bowlers but they failed to perform collectively and gave runs in excess of 8 runs per over.Kolkata Knight Riders not thinking much about ‘Gambhir factor’, says Simon Katich:
Source: Business Standard