Beleaguered Delhi hope for turnaround in fortune vs KKR
New Delhi: A beleaguered Delhi Daredevils will look for redemption after a change in leadership as they take on Kolkata Knight Riders at their home turf on Friday.
As old guard Gautam Gambhir stepped down from the captaincy on Thursday, young Turk Shreyas Iyer was bestowed with the daunting task of bringing the Delhi side's season back on track after it lost five of its six opening matches.
The 23-year-old batsman has been in a fine form this season (scored 157 runs in six matches at an average of 37.75) and almost took his team home from a precarious situation against Kings XI Punjab — where DD needed five runs from the last ball of the match. However, his failure to rise to the occasion shows that the flamboyant batsman still lacks the experience to lead an IPL side.
However, citing the example of Mumbai Indians' resurrection under Rohit Sharma to title triumph in 2013, DD's bowling coach James Hopes is still optimistic about the new leader.
"I think he (Iyer) loves being in this position. He was talking to players in the dressing room earlier today (on Thursday) and he sounded upbeat about his ideas and strategies for the match," said the former Australian cricketer during the pre-match press conference on Thursday. "He knew what to tell his players. And expecting a win from here is nothing new as Rohit (Sharma) did with Mumbai Indians before. We just need to find that win and build on the momentum."
Despite stepping down as captain, Gambhir still remains a vital cog for the team and should be able to work his way back to form after relinquishing the captaincy.
Dinesh Karthik-led side, on the other hand, have their own issues to deal with as KKR are struggling to sustain momentum and win matches on the trot. The side has exuded confidence in most of the matches with the bat but bowling has been largely pedestrian.
But the spin-dominated bowling attack of KKR — with the likes of Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla — would be quite happy given the slow nature of the Kotla pitch.
On the other hand, Delhi would be hoping that the fast bowling duo of Liam Plunkett and Avesh Khan, who rattled the Kings XI batting with their pace, will continue their fine display in familiar conditions again.