Can Delhi Daredevils clinch the top spot in IPL 10 points table with yet another win?    BCCI
Can Delhi Daredevils clinch the top spot in IPL 10 points table with yet another win? BCCI

A contest between two of the top teams await the Feroz Shah Kotla crowd as local team Delhi Daredevils (DD) face Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Match no. 18 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. The Delhi ground will host only the second match of this season as KKR will look forward to trounce the hosts and reinstate their supremacy in the IPL 10 points table. However, DD have put up impressive all-round performances so far in the journey and could prove to be the hurdle that jolts the successful run for the knights from Kolkata. This will be the first fixture of Monday, the second taking place at Hyderabad between Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) later in the evening. Full Cricket Scorecard: Delhi Daredevils vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Match 18 at Feroz Shah Kotla

The task at hand for KKR is to find a stable replacement for Chris Lynn, who was elemental in providing a powerful start to KKR s IPL 2017 campaign. Out due to injury, Lynn was replaced by pinch-hitter Sunil Narine a gamble Gautam Gambhir won against KXIP but not versus SRH. Though KKR were triumphant, hanging the team s batting on Narine may not be a wise option to move forward with in the tournament. The rest of KKR s batting looks strong enough to compete with any of the teams in the tournament. From time to time, the likes of Manish Pandey and Robin Uthappa have emerged as the knights in shining armour to save the side.

With Umesh Yadav back in action, KKR s worries regarding the pace attack have reduced. However, the speedsters need to be more economical. Narine and Kuldeep Yadav are sure to book their spots for the next few fixtures without any doubt while Woakes will have to produce effective performances with both bat and ball to prove his worth in the side.

With the likes of Zaheer Khan, Pat Cummins and Shahbaz Nadeem, DD is being considered as one of the bowler-heavy sides of this edition of IPL. However, two big assets will be the two performing all-rounders, Chris Morris and Corey Anderson. Amit Mishra brings in a lot of experience to the bowling and with all these cricketers at the top of their game, KKR batsmen are expected to find it hard to score freely, especially with the wily Zaheer being in-charge at the other camp.

Rishabh Pant has already won many hearts with his dedication towards the game and his attractive batting. Apart from the young lad, Sam Billings and centurion Sanju Samson will be the others to watch out for in the Delhi batting line-up. Anderson and Morris add crucial contributions down the order. More is expected from Karun Nair as the batsman is yet to fire since his 303 not out against England.

Likely XIs:

DD: Sanju Samson, Sam Billings, Karun Nair, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Corey Anderson, Chris Morris, Pat Cummins, Amit Mishra, Zaheer Khan (c), Shahbaz Nadeem.

KKR: Gautam Gambhir (c), Robin Uthappa (wk), Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Chris Woakes/ Shakib Al Hasan, Colin de Grandhomme, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Trent Boult.

Story so far:

KKR have won three of their four matches so far and are in the second position in the IPL 2017 points table. DD are closely following them at No. 3 with two victories from three matches.

Advantage:

KKR will have the moral boost as they are above DD in the table while playing at home conditions gives DD the edge for the fixture on Monday.

Squads:

Delhi Daredevils: Zaheer Khan (c), Mohammed Shami, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mayank Agarwal, Jayant Yadav, Amit Mishra, Sam Billings (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Chris Morris, Carlos Brathwaite, Karun Nair, Chama Milind, Syed Khaleel Ahmed, Pratyush Singh, Aditya Tare (wk), Ankit Bawne, Pat Cummins, Kagiso Rabada, Navdeep Saini, Murugan Ashwin, Shashank Singh, Corey Anderson, Rishabh Pant (wk).

Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (c), Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa (wk), Yusuf Pathan, Manish Pandey, Sunil Narine, Chris Woakes, Chris Lynn, Suryakumar Yadav, Trent Boult, Kuldeep Yadav, Shakib Al Hasan, Darren Bravo, Ishank Jaggi, Umesh Yadav, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Colin de Grandhomme, Rishi Dhawan, Sheldon Jackson (wk), Ankit Rajpoot, Sayan Ghosh, Ramsingh Sanjay Yadav.