Gautam Gambhir’s mid-tournament resignation as skipper has put Delhi Daredevils in a precarious position but with a change in leadership, the team management would expect a reversal of fortunes. Under the new leader Shreyas Iyer, they’d hope to win a few games on the trot beginning with Friday evening’s encounter against Kolkata Knight Riders.

Gambhir’s rough patch, along with poor form of other batsmen, resulted in over-dependence on young Rishabh Pant. The team has lost five of its six matches and is languishing at the bottom of the points table.

Gambhir’s return to form will be critical for Daredevils’ turnaround in the tournament. DD, in all likelihood, would need to win seven of their remaining eight matches to be in play-offs contention.

The 23-year-old Iyer is faced with the enormous task of turning it around for the team as a leader. The young batsman showed that he has the heart for a fight when he took it upon himself to steer the side against Kings XI Punjab. He almost pulled it off but fell short.

Injuries of Jason Roy (side strain) and Chris Morris (back problem) have also set back the Delhi side. The only game Daredevils have won so far was shaped by Roy’s unbeaten whirlwind knock of 91 on debut.

Glenn Maxwell, with scores of 17, 13, 47, 4 and 12, has been mediocre so far.

On the other hand, KKR are also struggling with their bowling. Their batters have been contributing consistently, twice taking the side past the 200-mark but bowlers have struggled to defend even big totals. KKR have won three matches and lost as many to sit fourth in the table.

The last time the two sides clashed, it was KKR which dominated by putting 200 runs on the board to win by a comprehensive 71-run margin.

It’s a spin-heavy attack for KKR with Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla doing the bulk of the job. The slow conditions at the Feroz Shah Kotla are likely to suit this combination while the young Shivam Mavi and England’s Tom Curran would spearheading the pace attack. Australian quick Mitchell Johnson has got only two games so far.

Time: 8 pm IST

Venue: Feroz Shah Kotla Ground, Delhi.

Head to head: Matches – 20, Delhi Daredevils won – 7, Kolkata Knight Riders won – 13

Statistics - DD

  • Shreyas Iyer will become the youngest player to captain the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL; the Mumbai lad – who will be 23 years and 142 days on match-day, will be 11th player to captain DD in the IPL.
  • The last time Gautam Gambhir did not captain an IPL team, despite being in his team’s playing XI, was 22 May 2009.  

“I am really loving the responsibility that they have given me and the faith that they showed in me. There is a lot to learn from Ricky Ponting and Gauti bhai. They will be mentoring us and it will be a great success definitely.”

— -Shreyas Iyer

Squad: Shreyas Iyer (C), Chris Morris, Rishabh Pant, Glenn Maxwell, Gautam Gambhir, Jason Roy, Colin Munro, Mohammed Shami, Amit Mishra, Prithvi Shaw, Rahul Tewatia, Vijay Shankar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Daniel Christian, Jayant Yadav, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Trent Boult, Manjot Kalra, Abhishek Sharma, Sandeep Lamichhane, Naman Ojha, Sayan Ghosh and Liam Plunkett.

Statistics - KKR

  • The KKR captain Dinesh Karthik has scored more IPL runs at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground than at any other venue; the wicketkeeper-batsman has an aggregate of 568 runs from the 26 matches he has played at the Kotla.  

“I think it has changed my approach towards a lot of people. I am thinking for ten other people on the ground a lot of the time; what they are thinking, how can I get the best out of them, etc.”

— -Dinesh Karthik

Squad: Dinesh Karthik (C), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Mitchell Johnson, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Shubman Gill, Ishank Jaggi, Nitish Rana, Vinay Kumar, Apoorv Wankhade, Rinku Singh, Shivam Mavi, Cameron Delport, Javon Searles, Tom Curran and Prasidh Krishna.