Knight Riders v Daredevils, Group A, CLT20, Centurion October 12, 2012

Explosive Daredevils to test Knight Riders

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Match facts

October 13, 2012
Start time 1730 (1530 GMT)

Big Picture

The first match for the two IPL teams will not only be a tug of war for the first points or an opportunity to work-out their strategies for the tournament; the focus will also be on Delhi Daredevils' Kevin Pietersen, who is making a return to the field of play after his brief stint as a TV commentator.

Kolkata Knight Riders may need a shift from the bowling plans they employed in the IPL to suit the conditions in South Africa. The variations that worked well for L Balaji and Rajat Bhatia in India will need adjustments, and it remains to be seen what tricks they use to supplement their lack of pace. Sunil Narine and Jacques Kallis are the automatic choices, but Brett Lee hasn't had any cricket since Australia's ODI tour of England in July, where he managed just two wickets in three outings. His competition to get into the team will be primarily with Shakib Al Hasan. Batting-wise, the team will again look up to their captain Gautam Gambhir, despite his recent patchy form, Brendon McCullum and Kallis.

Daredevils, on the other hand, are much more settled. Their four first-choice overseas players - the captain Mahela Jayawardene, David Warner, Kevin Pietersen and Morne Morkel - are likely to play all the matches. Their pace-heavy bowling attack, which got batsmen hopping and ducking on benign pitches in the IPL, doesn't solicit a change and therefore, the team, on paper, will go into the match as favourites.

Watch out for...

Daredevils' top order features three of the game's fiercest hitters - Virender Sehwag, David Warner and Pietersen - and that spells entertainment for the crowd. Pietersen, in his debut season for Daredevils, injected an aura into the team with his explosive batting. He played in less than half of the team's matches - eight - but was the third highest run-getter for the team with 305 runs at an average of 61. The highlights of his stay were the unbeaten 103 and the 20 sixes he racked up in the tournament. Warner came in after Pietersen left and added another century to his T20 tally, while Sehwag was at his consistent best - scoring five half-centuries in a row - on his way to amass 495 runs in the season.

Jacques Kallis was one of the pillars of Knight Riders' success in the IPL. He played in all the matches to score 409 runs and collect 15 wickets. But he has had a forgettable time after South Africa's successful tour of England. He failed to contribute with the bat - managing 24 runs in three innings - during the World T20 in Sri Lanka. However, in the familiar climes of South Africa, he will be one of the key players to guide the rest with both bat and ball.

Stats and trivia

  • The two teams have played each other nine times and Knight Riders are marginally ahead in terms of wins by 5-4
  • Gambhir's strike-rate in IPL 2012 was 143.55, 18 points above his career figure
  • Gambhir led Daredevils to wins over Knight Riders twice when the two teams met each other during the IPL 2009 season in South Africa

Quotes

"There are no favourites in this format, but we have the potential. I look around in the dressing room, and see a lot of greats of the game. If all of us play to our potential, we can go a long way in this competition."
Kolkata Knight Riders' captain Gautam Gambhir on his team's chances

"This is a different challenge. I was asked to do it and I felt since I captained Kochi and a few matches for Kings XI that I would do it this time."
Mahela Jayawardene on taking over the captaincy of Delhi Daredevils from Virender Sehwag

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 10Devils on October 13, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    Welcome back K.P. Love to see you playing. Hope you will do well and the action begins

  • dummy4fb on October 13, 2012, 15:14 GMT

    Actually...KKR chose to bowl...not bat

  • dummy4fb on October 13, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    Mine- 1:Virender Sehwag, 2:Mahela Jaywadene 3: Kevin Pietersen 4 :Ross Teylor 5: Naman Ojha 6:Ifran Pathan 7:VenugopalRao 8: Agit Agarkar 9: Morne Morkel 10: Shabaz Nadeem11: Umesh Yadav ..............

  • dummy4fb on October 13, 2012, 15:08 GMT

    whatever happens..... in the end KKR will be d one standin on top...

  • CricShanghai on October 13, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    Finally we will have a chance to see KP in action...hope he do well to please his wide supporters around the world. Go for it, KP!!

  • loki897 on October 13, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    DD: 1:Virender Sehwag, 2:David Warner 3:Umdukt Chand 4: Kevin Pietersen 5; Mahela Jaywadene 6: Naman Ojha 7:Ifran Pathan 8: Agit Agarkar 9: Morne Morkel 10: Shabaz Nadeem/Pawan Negi 11: Umesh Yadav KKR: 1:Gatuam Gambir 2: Brendon McCullum 3: Jacques Kallis 4: Manoj Tiwary 5:Shakib Al Hasan 6: Mavinder Bisla 7: Yusuf Pathan 8: R Bhatia 9: Shami Ahmed 10: Sunil Narine 11: L Balagi

  • Maruf2Megha on October 13, 2012, 11:12 GMT

    KKR Team : 1. Kalis 2. Gauti 3. McCullam 4. Monoj 5. Sakib 6. Pathan 7. Shukla 8. Rajat 9. Lee 10. Balaji 11. Abdullah/ Shami Ahmed....This is the best 11 for KKR.... Missing Sunil but its hard pitch.... Batsman: Kalis,Gauti,McCullam,Monoj,Sakib,Pathan,Shukla & Rajat fast Bowler: Lee, Balaji Medium Fast: Kalis, Rajat, Shukla Spiner: Sakib,Pathan,Abdullah

  • puneet88 on October 13, 2012, 11:10 GMT

    My Daredevil team would be :: 1)Warner 2)Viru 3)KP 4)Mahela 5)Unmukt Chand 6)Naman Ojha 7)Irfan 8) Morkel 9) Umesh Yadav 10) Pawan Negi 11) Varun Aaron .. Its Really hard to keep Ross Taylor out !!

  • jonesy2 on October 13, 2012, 10:40 GMT

    you have to play ross taylor over pieterson that is a no brainer. the rest pick themselves. same with kolkata they should be thanking their lucky stars they have lee and kallis because they would struggle otherwise

  • dummy4fb on October 13, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    KKR-------bisla,brendon,gauti,kallis,shakib,tiwary,pathan,deb,bhatia,narine,balaji.......can't hv a bttr team

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