The two teams have locked horns eight times over the last four seasons, from which the Chargers could manage only two wins. In their last encounter, KKR managed a comfortable win by 20 runs.
Played 8: DC – 2, KKR – 6
Players to watch out for:
1. Dale Steyn
He had a forgettable match against Rajasthan Royals the other day, but followed it up by a better performance against Delhi and though the pitch doesn’t offer much for the fast bowlers, as one of the best pace bowlers in the world, Dale Steyn can on his day single-handedly win DC today’s game, which he very nearly did against Mumbai Indians earlier in the season.
2. Kumar Sangakkara
The Chargers captain and star batsman bears bulk of the batting responsibility for his side as they need to post a high total on board. Considering that KKR has a better batting line-up with a few big hitters, the Sri Lankan batsman will have to keep the runs flowing on his end to allow other batsmen to settle in and set up a high score. A decent 44-run knock off 32 balls from him helped DC set up a big total against RR but could not extend that form against the Daredevils and will be looking to get back to scoring ways
3. Amit Mishra
The leg-spinner was the only bowler who looked threatening against the Rajasthan Royals as well as Delhi Daredevils. On a pitch that favors spin, he can be a dangerous proposition who can breakdown any opposition’s batting line-up. Gambhir would be well aware of the threat that he poses especially on Indian pitches.
Kolkata Knight Riders:
1. Brendon McCullum
He has been in the form of his life and the Chargers would do well to restrict him and send him back to the pavillion as soon as possible. Once settled in, he is very difficult to stop and he can take the game beyond the Chargers’ reach before they know it.
The Indian left-hander has been in terrific form since he scored 64 off 33 balls against Royal Challengers Bangalore. His captaincy and field setting tactics in the tournament has been commendable and he will look to extend his fair run of games with another win today in which he would hope to play his part with the bat and the brain.
3. Shakib Al-Hasan
The Bangladesh all-rounder has chipped in with some vital performances for Kolkata both with the bat as well as with the ball. He has put in some very crucial performances that helped his side win. In a team line-up studded with the likes of Jacques Kallis and Gautam Gambhir, Shakib al Hasan may not stand out, but when called upon to perform, he has delivered for his side.
Going by the sides on paper, Kolkata Knight Riders may beat Deccan Chargers in what may turn out to be a close encounter.