Delhi Daredevils aim for first win against Kolkata Knight Riders at Kolkata on Sunday © IANS (File Photo)
Delhi Daredevils aim for first win against Kolkata Knight Riders at Kolkata on Sunday © IANS (File Photo)

Delhi Daredevils are all set to shine in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 this year and appear stronger than ever as they take on Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 2 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata on Sunday. Having former Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid as head coach and Zaheer Khan as captain, DD seem to be in safe hands. This time DD have some big players and with a balanced unit they aim to win the trophy that they have missed in the last eight years. DD comprises of mixed bag of players — International, Indian, domestic circuit cricketers and Under-19 cricketers. After the completion of ICC Under-19 World Cup 2016 and T20 World Cup 2016, some cricketers have exceeded expectations and will be the players to look forward to. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2016, Match No.2 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata

DD’s trump card might be in Carlos Barthwaite, who was the hero for West Windies for his 4-sixes in the final over to win his side the World T20 2016. Then the team consists of Indian domestic star player like Sheryas Iyer, who was one of the major reasons behind Mumbai’s 41st Ranji Trophy win. DD also consists of Imran Tahir and Quinton de Kock, with the former having led South Africa from front one with the ball and the latter with bat. JP Duminy completes the Proteas’ trio for DD with his all-round services which will surely be handy in the tournament. There are experienced Indian players like Zaheer, Amit Mishra and Mohammad Shami who have been associated with DD for a while and can guide the new bees in every department. As DD take on an equal competitor KKR, here are the Likely XI for DD:

Top-Order: Mayank Agarwal has a strong IPL career with 2012 being the base year for him while playing for RCB and by 2012 he started playing for DD, since then he has exceeded himself and last year proved to be fruitful for him with highest score of 68. To compliment is Sanju Samson at No.2 who have equally had eventful IPL editions starting off playing for Rajasthan Royals and now for DD.  Having a strong top-order is required especially during the powerplay overs, while KKR have a stable combination in their bowling attack that has a capability to nullify DD’s good starts. If one of the opening batsmen fails to perform on a day, DD have an excellent No. 3, Shreyas, who has proved his worth during tense situations well in the domestic circuit. The top-order looks more or less settled taking major portion of the game on their shoulders and leaving very few responsibilities on the rest of the side.

Middle-Order: The middle-order is the most crucial stage of an innings, especially if the top-order fails. Karun Nair will ideally play at No. 4 as he is known to bring strength to the middle-order as witnessed while playing for Rajasthan Royals. Having JP Duminy at No.5 is exactly what is required to pose a huge total considering Eden Gardens can work in their favor if DD decides to bat first. The way Duminy has performed in the two matches played at World T20 with his half-century in the middle order is just the element required while playing against an equally strong team like KKR. READ: IPL 2016 Schedule, Time Table, Fixture PDF Download

Carlos Barthwaite at No.6 cannot get better as a finishing role needs to be handed over to right person. West Indies are known to finish the innings on a high and nobody can handle role better than Brathwaite. Mahipal Lomror, the ideal all-rounder DD requires and his contribution of 40-50 runs is enough to push the total to 200-plus.

Lower-Order & Bowling: The lower-order is a juggle between No.8 Imran Tahir and No.9 Amit Mishra, as both can come handy when it comes to give a thrilling chase to their inning. Mishra has shown glimpses of finishing role earlier, while Tahir has come forward at the time of need.  READ: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2016 Match No.2 at Eden Gardens: Preview

The bowling department is lead by Zaheer with his excellent pace attack and likely to open the attack for DD. As for spinners Mahipal’s 5 for 47 against New Zealand in Under-19 World Cup gives him an upper hand and so does Tahir lead the spinners from front. But their major spinning attack will be dependent on the start Amit Mishra provides as he holds the spot of top wicket-taker. The pace attack is also supported by Nathan Coulter-Nile after his balanced performance during World T20 2016 and his over all performance in IPL has been reasonable in every game. Over all DD give the impression of being a well balanced unit and this time they will be leaving no stone unturned to reach the final destination.

Delhi Daredevils Likely XI (Batting Order): Mayank Agarwal, Sanju Samson (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Karun Nair, JP Duminy, Carlos Brathwaite, Mahipal Lomror, Imran Tahir, Amit Mishra, Zaheer Khan (c), Nathan Coulter-Nile.

(Shruti Hariharan is Content Writer with CricketCountry. You can follow her on Twitter at @Shruti_2890)