Eyes will be on Gautam Gambhir, who will be playing at his home ground © IANS
Eyes will be on Gautam Gambhir, who will be playing at his home ground © IANS

By Faisal Kamal

New Delhi: A resurgent Delhi Daredevils (DD) will look to continue with their winning momentum when they take on defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the team’s fifth match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 at the Feroz Shah Kotla, here on Monday. After two opening losses in this edition of the cash-rich league, the Jean-Paul Duminy-led side bounced back with two straight wins to put its campaign back on track. Umesh Yadav: I was trying to vary my lengths while bowling to Glenn Maxwell

It was not that DD were playing bad cricket but probably luck had deserted them in the first two matches, which they lost by close margins. Fortunes turned in their third game against King XI Punjab when the batsmen chased down a 166-run target. If opener Mayank Agarwal and star batsman Yuvraj Singh scored strokeful fifties in that game then Shreyas Iyer and Duminy also hit half-centuries in their previous win against SunRisers Hyderabad. Russell thinks installing speed gun on his bat is a good idea

The batting has looked good and the bowling, ably led by South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir (9 wickets in 4 games), has also started to fire on all cylinders. Tahir and Amit Mishra have been potent leg-spinners and the effective pace battery comprises Nathan Coulter-Nile and Angelo Mathews. Gautam Gambhir brands Andre Russell a “new breed” of cricketers

Duminy sounded confident of the team’s future this season after the four-run win against SRH at Vizag, “Proud of the boys about how they stuck to their gameplans. You’re never out of the game in T20, so that’s what I tell the boys, Make sure you concentrate on every ball of the game. “We always went for our wickets, knew that was the key [Two wins on the trot] Long may it continue, we’ll enjoy tonight and play again in two days time.”Coulter-Nile says last over finish against SRH spiked his blood pressure

KKR, on the other hand, showed their might against Kings XI Punjab in their previous game as the Gautam Gambhir-led side pulled off its second win in three games to stay in the top-four of the table. In-form batsman Andre Russell struck a belligerent 66 off 36 balls to help the team chase down 156 after being five down for 60. Even Gambhir and Suryakumar Yadav have risen to the challenge when it has mattered. PHOTOS: Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2015 Match 13 at Visakhapatnam

The KKR batting not only runs deep but also has enough muscle to take on the top bowlers in the competition. Gambhir was all praise for Russell, who has accumulated 107 runs in two innings, after the four-wicket win against Kings XI on Saturday. Albie Morkel sets world record, goes past Kieron Pollard

“There is a lot of fearlessness about Russell and Surya. Credit needs to go to the entire support-staff. We knew if we could take the game till the end and if Russell stays there, we could win. Russell did it in the Champions League as well. We want these kind of characters to go out there and express themselves,” said Gambhir.IPL 2015: Gautam Gambhir first to 25 IPL fifties

The bowling has also been in top form with pacers Umesh Yadav, Morne Morkel and Russell being the wicket-takers while spinners Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla have been doing the containing act well. Starting with a win against Mumbai Indians, KKR just had a hiccup against Royal Challengers Bangalore but got back to winning ways in Pune.

In the head-to-head count, KKR are just ahead with 7 wins in 13 games, but the much-fancied side will need to play top cricket against the home team.