Kolkata Knight Riders v Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2012, Kolkata April 4, 2012

Delhi duo up against each other

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Match facts

Thursday, April 5, Kolkata
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big picture

They are team-mates, opening partners and friends, but on Thursday, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir will knock gloves only at the toss, and will proceed to lead their respective IPL sides against each other. Personally, and internationally, if you were to take out Sehwag's ODI double-century, the duo has had an ordinary time of it. Gambhir hasn't scored a Test century in two years; Sehwag last managed one in November 2010. In that regard this could be a no-win situation: if they do really well as captains here, it won't make any difference to their current standing in international cricket, but failure will add up.

Sehwag's team, Delhi Daredevils, knows failure well from last year when they finished last. Kolkata Knight Riders' upswing under Gambhir, though, took them to the fourth spot. Daredevils, who have more ground to make, will have to do without Mahela Jayawardene, Kevin Pietersen and David Warner for the first few games, which will be a challenge. Knight Riders are more settled in that regard, and should start as favourites, especially given the home advantage of a traditionally tacky surface.

Players to watch

Australia may or may not be relieved at his absence in the Test series, but Knight Riders are sure elated with their new acquisition, the all-sorts fingerspinner from Trinidad, Sunil Narine. His economy-rate of under five and average of under 15 speak for themselves.

Daredevils have tapped the West Indies Twenty20 freelance market to their advantage too, acquiring the services of the explosive allrounder Andre Russell. Like with Narine, there is no point holding back Russell either.

2011 head-to-head

Knight Riders and Daredevils played each other just once last year. Manoj Tiwary's 61 off 47 balls took Knight Riders to 148. Daredevils never came to terms with the slowness of the Kotla surface, and lost by 17.

Stats and trivia

  • Daredevils and Knight Riders have played seven games against each other and the head-to-head record is 3-3. One game was abandoned.

    Quotes

    "I was not expecting to play against him in the very first match. That's the only game of cricket in my life, which I don't enjoy. This is a game where I can't handle it. Otherwise I would love this game. But this is what our job is. We have to be honest to our teams and make sure we do well for our teams, even though we are brothers. Hope a situation does not arise where I'm bowling the last over to him with 10-15 runs required. That's the only time when I think I would be thinking negative. Otherwise I will always have a challenge. I will be really happy if he scores a 50 or 100 and we go on to win the match."
    Daredevils' Irfan Pathan on the prospect of facing his brother, Knight Riders' Yusuf Pathan

    "This is the first time I have seen the vice-captain has been dropped after losing. Usually the captain is dropped after losing... I don't understand what made the selectors drop him… I don't know about him and what he feels, but if I were Gambhir then definitely I would have thought, 'You removed me from the vice-captaincy, and my goal is to win this IPL and prove a point.'"
    Wasim Akram, Knight Riders mentor, on Gautam Gambhir

    edited by Abhishek Purohit

    Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

  • Comments have now been closed for this article

    • dummy4fb on April 5, 2012, 17:03 GMT

      How can KKR leave out the best allrounder in World Cricket and the most consistent and inform player in their squad at the moment is beyond me...

      Once again Shakib on the bench.

    • dummy4fb on April 5, 2012, 16:49 GMT

      why dont they just abandon a game? Is this is a joke. 12 overs a side. Hope we see 5 over cricket soon! Wham bham, done! game over in 1 hr.

    • Sanchez50 on April 5, 2012, 16:40 GMT

      After a delayed start how many overs do u xpct frm d match?

    • dummy4fb on April 5, 2012, 15:31 GMT

      As a Bowler Sakib is better choice den Narine or Whateva .. He kept his 19 avg in 58 match .. if u want a pure Match winner batsman... Sakib is There ... So why this doubt abt his position ? lolz KKR u blessed wit dis world No 1 All rounder ... Use it ..

    • Masum91 on April 5, 2012, 15:26 GMT

      How it's possible? The comparison between Sakib and Narin. Sakib is a boss player.He is the best of BPL and Asia cup. But Narine?

    • Foysalsworld on April 5, 2012, 15:09 GMT

      There no doubt that shakib will be the no 1 choice in kkr team ..........................................................................

    • dummy4fb on April 5, 2012, 15:01 GMT

      Surely Sakib, Kallis, McCullum and Lee would be the best choice.

    • dummy4fb on April 5, 2012, 15:01 GMT

      McCallum's gonna rockzz today

    • dummy4fb on April 5, 2012, 14:36 GMT

      oh god this rain will neva leave any ipl seasons match..

    • dummy4fb on April 5, 2012, 14:33 GMT

      Question: Why should KKR play Shakib? Answer: 1. Best all-rounder (Not for 1, not for 2; 3 years consecutive) 2. BPL (Bangladesh Premier League) man of the series. 3. Asia Cup performance. 4. T20 is about "in form" players rather than "star players". Shakib is an in form player no doubt. 5. He is an excellent fielder and we all know how important is that in T20. [There you go!!!]

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